4 Northeast Ohio counties drop off from purple Level 4 on state's color-coded map

Spread throughout Northeast Ohio remains very high
Posted at 2:53 PM, Dec 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-17 14:53:03-05

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Richland County remains the only county in Northeast Ohio at purple Level 4 on Ohio’s Public Health Advisory System, with four local counties—Medina, Summit, Stark and Portage, dropping off the purple list on Thursday.

“We’re seeing counties move to the Watch List and then purple when we’re seeing worsening trends in cases and healthcare indicators, and then a return to red when these all plateau at a very critical level,” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said on Thursday.

The updated map released Thursday showed nearly all counties in Ohio were red—signifying the high spread of the virus across the state.

DeWine said when the map was created, it provided a projection of where the virus was spreading, but since nearly all counties are at very high exposure, it's not as helpful as an early warning sign.

"I want to try to pull people a little bit away from this map and focus more on what's going on in your county," said DeWine. He added that the only movement health officials are seeing is between purple and red.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said what's happening in the hospitals reflects the seriousness of the virus.

"As we look at what is happening in our ICUs, we can see that the ICUs have critical volumes of patients with COVID-19. We can't let this get any worse. We can't let our guard down for one minute," he said.

Miami County has been added to the state's watch list. Wyandot County is red for first for the first time ever.

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