Gov. Mike DeWine announced on Thursday that eight new counties were added to the Red Level 3 Public Emergency.
When an Ohio county reaches this level its population is required to wear a face covering in public. Level 3 is considered an area where exposure and spread of the coronavirus is very high.
According to the governor’s press release, almost 60 percent of the state’s population will be required to wear face coverings in public.
The new counties added to Level 3 are Athens, Allen, Delaware, Licking, Lucas, Richland, Scioto and Union. Currently, 19 counties have reached Level 3. Trumbull County dropped down to Level Two which means people who live in this county aren’t required to wear face coverings in public.
The other twelve counties in Level 3 are Butler, Clermont, Cuyahoga, Fairfield, Franklin, Hamilton, Lorain, Montgomery, Pickaway, Summit and Wood.
These new counties were expected to follow this mandate on Friday.
Athens County is approaching Purple Alert Level 4 which means the coronavirus has severe exposure and spread.
The Ohio Department of Health uses seven indicators to determine what level a county is at in terms of coronavirus risk level alerts:
- 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
In a Wednesday primetime address, DeWine implored Ohioans to unite to defeat the coronavirus.
“Today, more Ohioans are getting sick than at any previous point in this pandemic. We are sliding down a very dangerous path, with our once flattened-curve starting to sharpen and spike,” DeWine during his speech. “This is a worrisome, disturbing reversal of our progress – a jarring reminder of just how quickly our fate can change.”
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