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Red Level Three ends for Lawrence County

Health department says number of COVID-19 cases has dropped significantly

Conditions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic have improved in Lawrence County, resulting in its alert level being lowered in the latest updates from the Ohio Department of Health.

“Great news, Lawrence County!” a post on the Lawrence County Health Department Facebook page read on Thursday. “On Oct. 8, 2020, we received notice that our county was considered “red” under the Public Health Advisory System. Today, after more than five months under that category, we have finally moved back to orange.”

The four-tier, color-coded COVID-19 alert system, compiled by the Ohio Department of Health, is 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 and sustained increase in new COVID-19 hospital admissions — that identify the risk level for each county and a corresponding color code to represent that risk level.

The department said that the county, now at Orange Level Two, had seen its number of COVID-19 cases drop dramatically in recent weeks.

“We reported the highest number of cases (102) on Jan. 7, 2021,” the department said. “Over the past two weeks, we’ve had a couple days where we only reported one positive case to ODH. Today’s number is at five.”

The department said they have given 12,679 first and second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine since they began administering it in December

“We’ve already opened our clinics up to ages 18 and above and, as soon as we have Pfizer vaccine, we’ll open it up to ages 16 and older.”

In addition to the vaccine providers already in the county, Ohio University will bring a mobile unit every other Tuesday, beginning April 6. Details on those visits will be released soon.

“Thank you for all you’ve done to help get us to this point,” the department said. “While we work to get to the end of this pandemic, please continue to wash your hands, wear your mask, and social distance.”

The improvement in Lawrence County follows that of neighboring Jackson County, which moved from Level Three Red to Level Two Orange last week.

Neighboring Scioto County remains at Level Three Red, while Gallia County has been at Level Two Orange for some time.

In addition to moving to Orange Level Two, Lawrence County is no longer marked with an “H” for high incidence of the virus, a distinction shared with Gallia and Jackson counties, while Scioto County retains its “H” designation.