Madison County on watch list for Level 4

(Posted Dec. 3, 2020)

Today, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced that Madison County is on the “watch list” for Level 4 (purple) for the Ohio Public Health Advisory System (OPHAS).

The OPHAS is a color-coded approach created by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) to inform Ohioans about the risks to personal health, community health, and the healthcare infrastructure associated with COVID-19. The system is built on seven data indicators that describe the spread of COVID-19 and the pace at which a county is nearing healthcare and public health system limits. A county that meets six of seven indicators for one week is placed on a “watch list.” When a county reaches Level 4 (purple), it has met at least six of seven indicators for at least two consecutive weeks.

The Level 4 risk designation, assigned and updated by ODH every Thursday, means there is severe exposure risk to and uncontrolled spread of COVID-19. State guidance for this risk level includes following all state and local orders, staying at home as much as possible, and only leaving home for work, essential supplies and necessary services.

According to the state’s profile of Madison County for the past two weeks, 335 COVID-19 cases have been newly diagnosed equating to 748 cases per 100,000 residents. Madison County also has seen five straight days where new cases have increased each day with most new cases in the general public (not in prisons or long-term care facilities).

Also increasing for at least five days are: emergency department visits for COVID-19 illness, residents making COVID-19 outpatient healthcare visits, and new COVID-19 hospital admissions. For seven straight days, Intensive Care Units (ICU) that serve Madison County have been more than 80 percent full with more than 20 percent of ICU admissions being COVID-19 patients.

In addition to all state orders and guidance, the following local orders and advisories are in effect for Madison County until Jan. 1, 2021, unless otherwise extended:

  1. Community festivals, events and gatherings are ordered suspended.
  2. Schools are advised to close their buildings and use virtual learning options.
  3. School/community sports and extracurriculars are advised to be suspended.
  4. Businesses and government offices are advised to allow staff to work from home and implement teleworking and video conferencing policies wherever practical. Community, governmental, social and similar organizational meetings are advised to be held virtually.
  5. Churches and houses of worship are advised not to meet in person and to use online or “drive-in” options.
  6. Residents are advised to continue social distancing, wear a face covering when around other people, and not to gather with people who are not in your own household.

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