Ohio releases new way to look at COVID-19 community spread in counties

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine revealed a new way of looking at the number of cases of the coronavirus in the state’s counties, saying schools will reflect the spread of the disease in their communities.

The new chart shows the spread of COVID-19 by looking at the new cases on a county-by-county basis for the last two weeks.

The counties are ranked by the highest occurrence of the virus in that county per 100,000 people.

According to the chart, for example, Mercer County had 230.4 new cases of the virus per 100,000 residents. Being a county of only 40,806 people, the actual number of new cases — 94 — means Mercer is the county with the highest spread percentage of the virus.

A larger county like Franklin, with a population of 1,275,333, had 1,858 new cases over the last two weeks, breaking down into 145.7 cases per 100,000.

DeWine said the chart compares apples to apples by setting the number of new cases per 100,000 people, even if that county doesn’t have that many people.

“When people are making decisions, and I’m not telling them how to make decisions or what decisions to make, there’s a lot of data and I think what we know, is we can all impact the school situation,” DeWine said.

DeWine then complimented school staff and teachers across the state for making schools as safe as possible for the new school year.

“…It is incumbent upon us to make sure the sea we all are swimming in as safe as we can,” he said. “What is going on in the community as far as community spread will be directly impacted, will directly impact what is going on in that school.”

DeWine added if there is widespread community spread, that spread will be reflected in that community’s schools.

“Community spread is in fact everywhere,” he said.

The governor then announced an order stating all children for Kindergarten age through fifth grade will be required to wear masks.

Coronavirus in Ohio resources:

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