A new health advisory system was unveiled by Governor Mike DeWine at a press conference on Thursday.
The Ohio Public Health Advisory System is designed to provide local health departments and community leaders data and information to combat flare-ups as they occur in different parts of the state. The system consists of four levels that provide Ohioans with guidance as to the severity of the problem in the counties in which they live.
“Our new Public Health Advisory System will help make clear the very real dangers happening in individual counties across Ohio,” said DeWine. “This is a color-coded system built on a data-driven framework to assess the degree of the virus’ spread and to inform, engage, and empower individuals, businesses, communities, local governments, and others in their response and actions.”
A county’s alert level is determined by seven data indicators:
– New cases per capita
– Sustained increase in new cases
– Proportion of cases that are not congregate cases
– Sustained increase in emergency room visits
– Sustained increase in outpatient visits
– Sustained increase in new COVID-19 hospital admissions
– Intensive Care Unit (ICU) bed Ooccupancy
Additional measurements still in development include county-level data on contact tracing, tests per capita, and percent positivity.
There are four public emergency alert levels, with Level 1 being the baseline level and Level 4 the highest. Each alert level includes specific risk-level guidelines, including the requirement that all citizens comply with all health orders.
• Alert Level 1 Public Emergency: County has met zero or one indicator. There is active exposure and spread. Citizens advised to follow all health orders.
• Alert Level 2 Public Emergency: County has met two or three indicators. There is increased exposure and spread. Exercise a high degree of caution. Follow all current health orders.
• Alert Level 3 Public Emergency: County has met four or five indicators. There is very high exposure and spread. Limit activities as much as possible. Follow all current health orders.
• Alert Level 4 Public Emergency: County has met six or seven indicators. There is severe exposure and spread. Only leave home for supplies and services. Follow all current health orders.
Fulton County is in the lowest level. Neighboring Lucas and Henry counties are in Alert Level 2.
Seven counties are at Level 3. They are Huron, Hamilton, Butler, Montgomery, Franklin, Cuyahoga, and Trumbull.