COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Central Ohio is seeing more and more counties on alert yet again when it comes to COVID-19.
Franklin County is considered to have a high level of community spread according to the CDC. Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther is urging residents to follow the city and county’s advisory: mask up while indoors in public places.
Dr. Gastaldo with OhioHealth says there is also an opportunity to do more.
“We’re dealing with more transmissible variants, we’re dealing with people who are not wearing masks, people are forgetting that this pandemic is still going on,” said Gastaldo.
Experts and doctors say masking is a must while indoors and in public spaces if you have high spread in your community. Columbus Public Health and Franklin County Public Health both put out advisories urging people to mask up.
Dr. Gastaldo says booster shots should be a priority.
“Here’s the group of people eligible to receive booster and under 20 percent of this age group has received in booster,” said Gastaldo referencing national CDC data. “So that’s part of the messaging in public health.”
The previous mask mandate in Columbus was lifted back in March. Ginther says no mandate is being considered at this time.
“Our intention is to listen to medical professionals, healthcare professionals obviously this advisory has come out for a reason,” said Ginther.
Dr. Gastaldo says don’t ignore what’s happening in the community.
“In OhioHealth’s urgent cares our positivity rate is anywhere from 45 to 50% and really, we don’t want people to think that it’s just a bad cold because obviously there’s at risk people who can get quite sick from it and COVID can result in long COVID for a lot of people.”
If you have weekend plans, even if it’s outdoors, Gastaldo says to keep a mask handy especially if you’re in a crowd.