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Gov. DeWine places 56 Ohio counties on red alert for COVID-19: ‘Very real and very concerning’

TiffinOhio.net Staff

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Governor Mike DeWine announced Thursday that Ohio is once again breaking records in regard to COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

According to today’s updated Ohio Public Health Advisory System map, 56 counties are currently rated as having a very high risk of exposure and spread (Red Level 3), up from 43 counties last week. This represents the highest number of Red Level 3 counties since the launch of the advisory system in July. As of today, 86 percent of Ohioans are living in a Red Level 3 county.

Between Wednesday and Thursday, health officials have reported a total of 4,961 new positive coronavirus cases in Ohio, the highest number of new cases in a 24-hour period to date.

There are currently 2,075 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 which is a 55 percent increase in hospitalized patients compared to two weeks ago.

Of the hospitalized patients, 541 people are in intensive care. The previous record for intensive care admissions was 533 in April.

“This virus is flaring up, and we have to push it down – the economy depends on it,” said Governor DeWine. “If the virus continues to aggressively spread, people will lose confidence in their ability to safely go to stores, restaurants, and other businesses. If we want to keep our economy moving, we must all live with this virus and we must all be more careful.”

Governor DeWine stressed that the new record number of cases is not due to increased testing capacity in the state. Since September 24, the total number of tests in Ohio has increased by approximately 44 percent, but positive cases have increased 280 percent in the same time period. If a person is tested multiple times, they are only counted once.

“There have been so many cases in the past two weeks that the risk of catching this virus in every county of this state is very real and very concerning,” said Governor DeWine. “Again, I ask everyone to recognize their personal responsibility in slowing the spread of this deadly disease. It’s up to every citizen in Ohio to choose to slow the spread by wearing masks, distancing, and making overall smart decisions.”

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