Mask-wearing is now required in public spaces in Wood County as the county has reached Level 3, or red alert, on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System as of Thursday.
Masks are required in all counties at Level 3, including Wood, Lorain, Cuyahoga, Summit, Trumbull, Montgomery, Franklin, Pickaway, Fairfield, Butler, Hamilton, and Clermont counties.
According to state data, average daily cases in Wood County went from one to nine between June 16 and July 1, and more people are seeking outpatient treatment.
“More than 89 percent of the cases are not in congregate settings, signaling significant transmission in the broader community,” according to the governor’s office.
Seneca County remains at Level 1 on the system. Sandusky County is now at Level 2, or orange.
Huron County is no longer a Level 3 county and is currently sitting at Level 2.
DeWine said the new alert system is the result of discussions about needing to look at counties individually, rather than the state as a whole, when making public health decisions amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The four levels of the Public Health Advisory System are determined by seven data indicators:
- New cases per capita
- Sustained increase in new cases
- Proportion of cases not congregate cases
- Sustained increase in emergency room visits
- Sustained increase in outpatient visits
- Sustained increase in new COVID-19 hospital admissions
- Intensive Care Unit (ICU) bed occupancy
Counties at Level 1 (yellow) have no or one indicator. There are 53 counties at Level 1 as of Thursday.
Level 2 counties (orange) have two to three indicators. There are 28 counties at Level 2.
Counties at Level 3 (red) have four to five indicators, and there are 7 counties at that level.
Level 4 counties (purple) have six or seven indicators. There are currently no counties at Level 4, but Gov. DeWine said Butler, Cuyahoga, and Hamilton counties are on a watch list, meaning they are close to reaching Level 4.
Franklin County has dropped off the watch list.
A violation of a public emergency pandemic order is a misdemeanor that can carry as much as 90 days in jail and a $750 fine.
The state reported 1,150 new infections Thursday.