Ohio Public Health Advisory System to Battle COVID-19 at County Level
Governor DeWine announced late last week that going forward, Ohio will maintain vital, necessary baseline orders to control the spread of COVID-19 while also implementing a new alert system.
The Ohio Public Health Advisory System will provide local health departments and community leaders data and information to combat flare-ups as they occur in different parts of the state. The system consists of four levels that provide Ohioans with guidance as to the severity of the problem in the counties in which they live.
"Our new Public Health Advisory System will help make clear the very real dangers happening in individual counties across Ohio," said Governor DeWine. "This is a color-coded system built on a data-driven framework to assess the degree of the virus’ spread and to inform, engage, and empower individuals, businesses, communities, local governments, and others in their response and actions."
A county's alert level is determined by seven data indicators:
- New Cases Per Capita
- Sustained Increase in New Cases
- Proportion of Cases that Are Not Congregate Cases
- Sustained Increase in Emergency Room Visits
- Sustained Increase in Outpatient Visits
- Sustained Increase in New COVID-19 Hospital Admissions
- Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Bed Occupancy
Additional measurements still in development include county-level data on contact tracing, tests per capita, and percent positivity.
Detailed descriptions for each indicator can be found on coronavirus.ohio.gov.
Alert Level 1 Public Emergency (Yellow): Baseline level. County has met zero or one indicator. Active exposure and spread. Follow all health orders.
Alert Level 2 Public Emergency (Orange): County has met two or three indicators. Increased exposure and spread. Exercise high degree of caution. Follow all current health orders.
Alert Level 3 Public Emergency (Red): County has met four or five indicators. Very high exposure and spread. Limit Activities as much as possible. Follow all current health orders.
Alert Level 4 Public Emergency (Purple): County has met six or seven indicators. Severe exposure and spread. Only leave home for supplies and services. Follow all current health orders.
Each alert level includes specific risk-level guidelines, including the requirement that all citizens comply with all health orders.
Profiles for the seven counties currently categorized in Alert Level 3 can be found below and are also available on the new Ohio Public Health Advisory System website.