Butler County Drops Down to Orange on Ohio's Public Health Advisory, Hamilton and Clermont Counties Remain Red

Reminder: A statewide mask mandate goes in to effect for all of Ohio's counties at 6 p.m. tonight — not just for those classified as red.

click to enlarge Butler County Drops Down to Orange on Ohio's Public Health Advisory, Hamilton and Clermont Counties Remain Red
Photo: coronavirus.ohio.gov

Based on weekly COVID-19 data from the Ohio Department of Health, eight new counties have been added to the red alert level of the Ohio Public Health Advisory System: Clark, Defiance, Erie, Hardin, Henry, Lawrence, Marion and Medina. And four have been downgraded from red to orange: Lorain, Summit, Wood and Butler.

The color-coded levels in order from the least to the most severe threat of COVID-19 infection and spread are yellow, orange, red and purple.

"The purpose of this map is to inform people in the county of what is going on, and what they should be concerned about," said Gov. Mike DeWine during today's press briefing.

He noted that two of the orange counties — Wood and Butler — are still very close to the Centers for Disease Control's definition of a "high" incidence of COVID-19, which is 100 cases per 100,000 residents; Butler county is currently at 97.88 cases per 100,000.

"They slipped down, which is a good thing, from the red to the orange, but they’re still hovering very, very close," said DeWine.

"I think what this tells us is overall the measures we’ve been focusing on to mitigate COVID-19 spread in the red counties — increased diligence of social distancing, wearing masks, washing hands, frequently reducing interactions with others outside your household — may be helping to slow the increase in these counties," DeWine said. "Again, we’ve got to wait, but we think certainly that the mask wearing is helping in those counties."

Hamilton and Clermont counties remain red. 

Hamilton County's weekly profile says it has triggered four of seven alert indicators, and has reported 1,280 cased during the past 14 days, meaning there is a high incidence of COVID-19. From July 1-12, average outpatient visits increased from 168 to 187 per day and 88% of cases in the past three weeks have been in non-congregate settings.

In Clermont County, according to state data, in the past two weeks they have reported "138 COVID-19 cases, representing 21% of the county’s total cases" since the pandemic began. From July 1-13, average outpatient visits went up from 23 to 33 per day and ER visits increased to approximately three per day "during the first week of the reporting period." Like Hamilton County, currently 88% of their cases are not in congregate settings.

A statewide mask mandate goes in to effect for all of Ohio's counties at 6 p.m. tonight, July 23 — not just for those classified as red. 

"We believe that requiring masks statewide will make a significant difference and will be key to making sure other counties do not progress to a higher level of increased spread," said DeWine when announcing the new order yesterday.

Starting at 6 p.m. tonight, all people in Ohio will need to have a face covering on when they're:

  • Inside somewhere that is not a residence.
  • Outside and unable to maintain a 6-foot social distance from those who are not in their household.
  • While waiting for, riding in, driving or operating public transportation, a taxi, car service or private ride-sharing care.

You don't have to wear a mask:

  • If you're under 10 years old.
  • If you have a medical condition or a disability that prevents you from wearing a mask, or you are communicating with someone with a disability.
  • If you are actively exercising or playing a sport.
  • If you are officiating a religious service.
  • If you are actively involved in public safety.
  • If you're actively eating or drinking.
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