Athens County may still be a “Level 3” on the state alert system, but as of Thursday it is no longer on the watchlist for being upgraded to “Level 4.”

Gov. Mike DeWine made the announcement during his COVID-19 press conference on Thursday. Athens County was listed as a “Level 3” on the Ohio Public Health Emergency Alert System last week, but was listed on the Ohio Department of Health’s website with an asterisk, indicating that the county was nearing “Level 4” status – the highest level on the system. Currently no other county has crossed into “Level 4.”

On the ODH’s county profile it states that “in recent weeks, nearly 100%” of the cases reported in Athens County have not been in congregate settings, meaning a significant amount of the transmission has taken place in the community at large.

On Thursday a statewide mask order went into effect in Ohio. The order was announced on Wednesday by Gov. Mike DeWine in response to the state’s rapidly increasing numbers.

“Wearing masks will make a difference. It will determine what our fall looks like. We want kids to go back to school, we want to see sports – to do that it’s very important that all Ohioans wear a mask,” DeWine said of the order.

As previously reported by The Messenger, the order only applies to those aged 10 and above.

On Thursday, Athens County officially surpassed 300 cases, reporting 303, on Friday that number rose to 309, an increase of six cases – one of the lowest one-day increases that Athens County has seen in a number of weeks.

Of those 309 cases, 149 are known active cases and 159 are recovered. There was one death in March.

At a state level there are now 81,746 cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 3,297 deaths.

In Athens County there have been 25 cases aged 0-19, 209 aged 20-29, 27 aged 30-39, 13 aged 40-49, 14 aged 50-59, 15 aged 60-69, five aged 70-79, and one case aged 80+.

In Athens County, 156 of the cases are female and 153 are male. There have been 13 hospitalizations.

In the counties surrounding Athens, COVID-19 cases stand at:

  • Washington – 177
  • Morgan – 16
  • Perry – 66
  • Hocking – 101
  • Vinton – 26
  • Meigs – 23

Currently, COVID-19 tests are available to those who have symptoms. A test can be ordered by a physician, at the Emergency Room, Holzer, and CVS on State Street.

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