There were very few positive aspects to the COVID-19 numbers released Thursday afternoon by Ohio Department of Health.
On one hand, Richland County remains at the “Purple” Level under the Ohio Public Health Advisory System, the highest level possible.
On the other hand, the number of reported positive tests from students and staff in Richland County schools continued to climb, albet at a slower pace.
Richland County was one of five counties at the Purple Level, down from eight counties last Thursday. Other Purple counties are Summit, Stark, Medina, and Portage — a group of counties only one county (Ashland) away from here. Interestingly, Ashland County was placed on the “watch” list and may turn Purple next Thursday if trends remain the same.
Six of seven indicators were met on the System for Richland County, as the graphic shows below. The one indicator not met deals with the number of outpatient visits.
Alarmingly, Richland County has the fourth highest incidence rate of all Ohio counties, with slightly over 1,134 cases per 100,000 residents.
In terms of Richland County schools, the total number of staff and students reported as testing positive increased yet again, this time to 85 new cases of COVID-19. Last week saw 77 new cases, which was then the highest number to date.
Schools and new reported cases were as follows:
This represents a total of 30 new student and 55 new staff cases.
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 Health (@RichlandHealth1) December 10, 2020