COLUMBUS, Ohio — On Thursday, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine delivered somber news on the spread of the coronavirus across the Buckeye state, releasing data that shows how every single county in the state of Ohio is now a high incidence county and 86% of Ohioans are now living in a Red Level 3 county.
"There have been enough cases during the past two weeks that the risk of catching this virus in all 88 counties is very real and very concerning," DeWine said.
More than 4,900 cases were reported in a 24-hour period—an increase that DeWine calls "shocking" when compared to about four weeks ago when the daily number of cases averaged around 1,000.
"It's everywhere. We can't run from it. We've got to face it and we have to deal with it," DeWine said.
The updated Ohio Public Health Advisory System showed that the virus continues to spread across the state, with 56 counties now at a Red Level 3, which is the highest number of counties that have been red since the Ohio Department of Health created the alert system in July 2.
Our updated Advisory System Map shows that the virus continues to spread throughout all regions of Ohio. We now have 56 Red Alert Level 3 counties—the highest number of counties that are red since we started the alert system. pic.twitter.com/z9LaBeGjTu— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) November 5, 2020
The counties that moved from Orange Level 2 to Red Level 3, include Ashland, Champaign, Clinton, Coshocton, Fairfield, Henry, Holmes, Jefferson, Medina, Morrow, Pickaway, Preble, and Sandusky counties.
Seven of the 13 new counties that have never been placed on Red Level 3 are Champaign, Clinton, Coshocton, Holmes, Jefferson, Morrow, and Sandusky.
"This high number of never before red counties is something that we've not seen since the early days of the advisory system. This is yet another sign that the disease is affecting ever more parts of the state of Ohio, parts of the state that previously had been relatively untouched by the virus," DeWine said.
Many of the red counties are seeing sustained increases in residents hospitalized for COVID-19.
DeWine said there are no counties that are purple and there are no counties on the watchlist to become purple at this time.
In counties that are yellow, like Monroe and Noble, there is a significant increase in the number of cases, but because these counties are sparsely populated, the data that would be reflected on the color map jumps around so there isn't a continuous increase in cases that would advance a county from yellow to orange.
Two Northeast Ohio counties—Holmes and Wayne— are among the top 20 counties with the highest occurrence of cases.
A closer look at the top 20 counties ⬇ pic.twitter.com/O4F4XznhSD— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) November 5, 2020
DeWine said despite political differences and beliefs, he believes Ohioans have one thing in common, and that's to get rid of the virus.
"What we have in common is a desire to keep our kids in school, a desire to keep our grandparents safe in nursing homes and desire to keep our hospitals, open and functioning, so that no matter what the problem is, there's room in the hospitals. These are our common goals that bring us together as Ohioans every single day," DeWine said,.
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