COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — State officials have decided to retire the Public Health Advisory System, the weekly color maps that showed COVID-19 spread and exposure in Ohio’s 88 counties.
Announcing the change were state health director Stephanie McCloud and chief medical officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff from the Department of Health, along with data analyst Jeff Brown from the Department of Administrative Services.
McCloud and Vanderhoff said that with the availability of vaccines, in addition to most pandemic health orders ending on June 2, that the time had come to move on from the advisory system.
The weekly maps tracked each Ohio county for exposure and spread of COVID-19. They checked to see how many of seven indicators that each county met. The counties were ranked from levels 1-4 (yellow, orange, red, purple), and those rankings were sometimes used in setting local health advisories.
Last week — the final week that the map was updated — 71 of Ohio’s counties were at levels 1 or 2. The last county ranked at level 4 was Franklin, which includes Columbus, which reached purple in April.