Ohio Governor Mike DeWine scheduled an unusual 5:30 pm press conference for Wednesday evening. DeWine’s 2 pm pressers on the COVID-19 situation have been the standard since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak in Ohio. In recent weeks, he reduced his appearances to once or twice a week.
The press conference comes as Ohio COVID-19 cases continue to spike. The most recent figures show a total of 67,995 in the state with 1,142 of those cases reported in the past 24 hours.
Scioto County Health Departments reported five new positive COVID-19 tests on Wednesday That brings the county total to 85. Eleven of those cases are hospitalized. Our count has quadrupled since last month.
Many speculate that DeWine will announce a mandatory mask order for Ohio, following the lead of Kentucky and West Virginia. Portsmouth City Council passed a mask ordinance Monday night over the objection of Mayor Kevin E. Johnson. Johnson did not comment on the merits of the mask ordinance itself, he objected to the fact that there was no time for the public to read or comment on the ordinance. Currently, the state only requires citizens living in Ohio Counties rated as Red Health Alerts to wear masks.
Ohio’s Health Alert Levels are as follows:
- 1 Yellow – Active Exposure and Spread
- 2 Orange – Increased exposure and spread
- 3 Red – Very high exposure and spread
- 4 – Purple – Severe exposure and spread
The indicators used to determine the ranking are:
- Number of new cases based on the population of the county
- A sustained increase in cases
- Cases not coming from high-risk settings like nursing homes or jails
- Increase in ER visits for COVID symptoms
- Sustained Increase in Outpatient visits for COVID symptoms
- Increase in new COVID hospital admissions
- ICU occupancy rate goes above 80% for three days
Red Counties as of July 14 are:
Three of those counties are on the watch list, meaning they are close to reaching Level 4:
Scioto County COVID level is 2.