Athens County has been upgraded to “red” Level 3 on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System, as announced by Gov. Mike DeWine on Wednesday evening. This is the second time the county has turned red since the system was introduced in July.
Level 3 is defined as very high exposure and spread. Residents are to limit activities as much as possible. Athens was rated as Level 3 in mid-July, and was downgraded to Level 2 on July 30.
There are four levels on the Advisory System. Montgomery, Lake and Lorain counties were all increased to Level 4 “purple”, joining Franklin County which has been purple since Nov. 19.
A Level 3 means a county triggered four of the state’s seven indicators this week. Athens County met the new cases per capita, new cases increase, non-congregate cases, and the seven-day average of emergency department visits indicators.
The upgrade to Level 3 came days after a new one-day increase record was set for Athens County, when 50 new cases were reported on Monday, Nov. 23.
Currently, there are current 459 active known cases of COVID-19 in Athens County, with 1,535 recovered cases and 4 deaths, bringing the county total to 1,998 cases in the county since the beginning of the pandemic. This is an overnight increase of 27 cases for the County.
According to the Ohio Department of Health’s COVID-19 dashboard, Athens County has 394.94 cases per 100,000 people.
Statewide there are now 399,808 total COVID-19 cases in Ohio, and 6,346 deaths. The ODH reports that thousands of reports are still pending and that the data is currently incomplete as of print time.
The Public Health Advisory system is normally updated each Thursday, however due to Thursday’s Thanksgiving holiday, the system was updated a day ahead of time. Additionally the ODH website states that Thursday’s numbers will be reported on Friday.
ODH makes the following recommendations to protect yourself from illness:
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; dry hands with a clean towel or air dry hands.
- Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are unavailable.
- Cover your mouth with a tissue or sleeve when sneezing or coughing. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
Ohio’s coronavirus call center is open to answer questions from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. The hotline number is 1-833-4-ASK-ODH or 1-833-427-5634. More information is available at coronavirus.ohio.gov.