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Lorain County at risk of elevating state’s coronavirus system to purple level

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW) – Lorain County is at risk of being elevated to the purple level of the Ohio Public Health Advisory System.

The system, created by the Ohio Department of Health and introduced in July, determines the risk of coronavirus in each of the state’s 88 counties and assigns a color. Yellow is the least severe, while purple is the most severe.

Hamilton County is the only county in the purple level, while Lorain and Clermont counties are at risk of advancing due to increased use of health care.

“We haven’t necessarily seen a dramatic surge after Christmas and New Years, but there’s a bit of a pick-up in our cases,” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said Thursday.

The state has moved away from the color-coded system, saying it was a good early indicator, but now that Ohio is in a plateau, that doesn’t reflect the high and sustained levels of the virus. DeWine highlighted two other maps: one showing incidence rates of COVID-19 and the only one showing intensive care unit use.

“The share of ICU patients with COVID has declined slightly. Critical care use is a lagging indicator, so it’s still coming down from our pre-vacation peak. However, it looks like our cases are starting to increase again, ”DeWine said.

The Ohio Public Health Advisory System is examining the following factors: new cases per capita, sustained increase in new cases, proportion of cases not in collective settings, sustained increase in emergency room visits linked to COVID-19 , sustained increase in COVID-19 outpatient visits, including telehealth, sustained increase in hospital admissions for COVID-19 and occupancy of intensive care units.

  • Level 1 (yellow): active exposure and propagation.
    • Perform daily self-assessment of health / symptoms and stay home if symptoms are present.
    • Maintain a social distance of at least 6 feet from non-household members.
    • Wear face covers in public, especially when social distancing is difficult to maintain.
    • Use caution when interacting with others who are not social distancing or wearing face coverings.
    • Avoid going to high risk areas.
    • Follow good hygiene standards.
  • Level 2 (orange): increased exposure and spread. Use great caution.
    • Same guidelines as for level 1.
    • Avoid contact with anyone considered to be at high risk.
    • People at high risk should take extra precautions.
    • Decrease face-to-face interactions outside the home.
    • Seek medical attention as needed, but limit or avoid unnecessary visits to hospitals, nursing homes, and residential care facilities to see as many others as possible.
  • Level 3 (red): very high exposure and diffusion. Limit activities as much as possible.
    • Same guidelines as for levels 1 and 2.
    • Decrease in-person interactions with others.
    • Consider only the necessary trips.
    • Limit attendance at gatherings to any number.
  • Level 4 (purple): severe exposure and spread. Only leave the house for supplies and services.
    • Same guidelines as for levels 1 to 3.
    • Stay home / necessary travel only.

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