By 1812Blockhouse

When the Ohio Public Health Advisory System was updated on Thursday afternoon, Richland County found itself in a very familiar place.

A place, in fact, which is occupied by 83 other counties in Ohio.

Meeting only one indicator, that being that of new COVID-19 cases per capita, the county was at “Red” or “Level Three” for another week. There have been 858 new cases in the preceding two weeks, representing a total of 708.19 cases per 100,000 population.

Of the other indicators, the number of non-congregate cases, outpatient visits, emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and seven day average of new cases levels all decreased. The number of ICU beds in use remained relatively constant.

Four counties in southeast Ohio were labeled as “Orange” or “Level 2,” while all others joined Richland at the Red Level.

The number of cases in Richland County schools increased somewhat, largely due to reported numbers from Clear Fork Schools. Numbers shared by districts and individual schools were as follows:

Clear Fork — 18 students, 14 staff

Lexington — 2 students, 1 staff

Lucas — 1 student

Ontario — 2 staff

Plymouth-Shiloh — 4 students, 7 staff

This represents a total of 49 new cases — 25 students and 24 staff. On December 24, the last date of reported school numbers, Richland County schools had a total of 23 cases, down from 51 the previous week.

In a related story, Richland Public Health has launched a new COVID-19 vaccine page, which will be updated with more specific information as RPH gets  more vaccine supplies. For now, it has a general vaccination plan and a vaccine Q&A section, and can be found here.

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