COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Department of Health announced Thursday that Franklin County has been given a Purple Level 4 designation on the Ohio Public Health Advisory Alert System.
On Thursday, Franklin County, which is the state's most populated county, had 45,650 cases of COVID-19, the most in the state, according to the ODH. Cuyahoga County trails with nearly 32,000 cases according to Thursday's numbers.
Level 4 (Purple) is the highest on the advisory alert, and it's for counties where residents have the highest risk of exposure to the coronavirus.
For a county to be moved to a level four or purple status, they need to have six or seven coronavirus indicators for two weeks in a row.
The seven data indicators are:
- New cases per capita - When the data shows that a county has had an average of 50 cases per 100,000 people over a two-week period, that will trigger a flag for increasing case rate.
- Sustained new case growth - If the data shows at least a five-day period of sustained new case growth, that will trigger a flag.
- Proportion of cases that are non-congregate cases - When there are a large number of positive cases from those living in the broader community, more than 50% of new cases originating from non-congregate settings during at least one of the past three weeks, that will trigger a flag on this indicator.
- Sustained increase in emergency room visits - When there is an increase in the number of people who visit an emergency department with COVID-19 symptoms or COVID diagnoses over a five day period, that will trigger a flag on this indicator.
- Sustained increase in outpatient visits - When there is an increase over a five-day period in the number of people in outpatient settings, including telehealth appointments, with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 symptoms, that will trigger a flag on this indicator.
- Sustained increase in new COVID-19 hospital admissions - When the numbers show at least a five-day period of sustained growth in the number of county residents with COVID-19 who are admitted to a hospital, the county will be flagged for meeting this indicator.
- Intensive Care Unit (ICU) bed occupancy- A county will be flagged for the indicator when the regional ICU occupancy goes above 80% for at least three of the last seven days.
Franklin County has met the following indicators:
- New cases per capita
- New cases increasing
- Non-congregate cases
- Emergency Department visits
- Outpatient visits
- Hospital admissions
The county did not meet the indicator for ICU bed occupancy.
The ODH said that when a county is under a Level 4, residents are asked to only leave home only for supplies and services.
Lake, Lorain and Montgomery counties have all been flagged for the purple Level 4 watch list and could turn purple next week if their situations do not improve.
This week was the first week no counties were at yellow Level 1.
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Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Ohio, a timeline of Governor Mike DeWine's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Northeast Ohio, and link to more information from the Ohio Department of Health, the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, the CDC and the WHO.
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