Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced today that Franklin County has become the state’s first-ever county to be rated as purple by its coronavirus advisory system.
A purple rating is the most severe assessment level offered by the ODH system. Listed as a level 4 public emergency, it denotes severe coronavirus exposure and spread.
In order for a county to reach a purple rating level, it must have been flagged for 6 or more indicators for virus spread for at least two weeks. Even more, DeWine says the increased caseload will start to strain Franklin county’s public health resources.
“This is a sign that we are starting to see sustained impacts on healthcare services,” he said.
Although no other Ohio counties have been rated as purple, DeWine warned additional counties are currently on a watchlist. Lake, Lorrain, and Montgomery Counties have all displayed at least 6 virus spread indicators for 1 week, and will receive the level 4 classification if they continue to do so for another week.
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Additionally, 72 Ohio counties are currently designated as red (level 3). According to DeWine, 5 of these counties—Columbiana, Darke, Fulton, Perry, and Van Wert—rose from an orange (level 2) designation last week.
“None of these counties have been red before,” DeWine said. “ In fact, some were yellow as recently as September or October.”
And while advisory levels continue to surge, the Ohio governor did also offer some positive news during his 2 p.m. press conference today.
Following the Nov. 11 reissue of his statewide mask order, DeWine noted that compliance rates in retail establishments throughout Ohio counties have reported strong numbers.
“They are finding about 90% compliance, so we are exceedingly happy with that,” he said. New compliance rates will be reported every Tuesday and Thursday.