Thursday afternoon each week brings the release of additional information about the COVID-19 pandemic in Ohio, particularly updates from the Ohio Public Health Advisory System and details about levels of the virus in public and private school settings.
The virus’ widespread nature statewide and locally is evidence in those statistics.
For the sixth week in a row, the number of counties at Level 3/Red grew and now stands at 72 — including Richland County (see below). Most of the counties at lower levels are in southeast Ohio, but those counties also include adjacent Huron County.
Franklin County turned Level 4/Purple this week, the first to do so, after six indicators were met for a second continuous week. Three counties are on the Level 3/Red watch list this week, however, including Lake, Lorain, and Montgomery; if their indicators remain the same, each could turn purple next week.
Thursday night brought the mandated curfew, however as of the posting of this story, the actual order with guidance information had not yet been posted on the State of Ohio website.
It should also be noted that according to coronavirus.ohio.gov, the data shared on Thursday is incomplete as “thousands of reports are pending review.”
Reporting from Richland County schools showed that there were 54 new student and staff COVID cases this week, up from 34 the preceding week. Schools and the number of new cases were as follows:
According to the Department of Health, “A report of COVID-19 should not be interpreted as an indicator that a school district or school isn’t following proper procedures—school cases can be a reflection of the overall situation in the broader community. Families and staff should always feel free to ask questions of the school district or school.”
Richland County has a Level 3/Red COVID-19 Warning in the OPHAS for the eighth straight week indicating very high exposure and spread of coronavirus. pic.twitter.com/DNukJffuGe
— Richland Health (@RichlandHealth1) November 19, 2020