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State sets ups color-coded COVID-19 health advisory system

Lawrence County is in second alert level of four-level system

COLUMBUS — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine unveiled a color-coded health advisory system on Thursday, designed to help officials and agencies identify hot spots of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.

Seven indicators are used to determine the four levels of the system, including new cases per capita, sustained increase in new cases, proportion of cases from non-congregate settings, sustained increase in ER visits, sustained increase in outpatient visits, sustained increase in new COVID019 hospital admissions and ICU bed occupancy.

The four alert levels of the system are:
ALERT LEVEL 1 (YELLOW): A county has triggered zero or one of the seven indicators, and there is active exposure and spread. These counties are seeing a moderate number of cases, according to the CDC’s definition.
ALERT LEVEL 2 (ORANGE): A county has triggered two or three of the seven indicators, and there is increased risk of exposure and spread. These counties are seeing cases that are growing in the community in the last two weeks.
ALERT LEVEL 3 (RED): A county has triggered four or five of the seven indicators, and there is very high exposure and spread. Risk is very high. Ohioans should limit activities as much as possible. Wear a mask when you go out.
ALERT LEVEL 4 (PURPLE): A county has triggered six to seven of the indicators, and there is severe exposure and spread. Stay home as much as possible.

A star is used on the county map to indicate Level 3 counties approaching the highest level. Franklin County, which comprises the Columbus area, is currently marked with this denotation.

Locally, Lawrence County, which has 65 confirmed cases of the virus to date, is listed as Level 2, a distinction shared with 27 other counties in the state, including neighboring Scioto County, at 36 cases. Gallia and Jackson counties are at Level 1, along with 51 other counties.

Seven counties in the state, Cuyahoga, Trumball, Huron, Franklin, Montgomery, Butler and Hamilton, are listed at Level 3, while no counties are at Level 4.