COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Franklin County is the first in the state to be designated as level 4 (purple) in the Ohio’s coronavirus advisory map.
According to the map, Franklin County has had 7,283 cases over the past two weeks, with an average 553.1 cases per 100,000.
A level 4 means there is severe exposure and spread and residents are only to leave home for supplies and services.
Columbus and Franklin County Health Commissioners Dr. Mysheika Roberts and Joe Mazzola released the following statement in regards to the designation:
In response to the Ohio Public Advisory System designating Franklin County Level 4 or “purple,” Franklin County Public Health and Columbus Public Health further stress the vital importance of the Stay at Home Advisory issued yesterday. It is critical that all residents stay at home to the greatest extent possible. Residents are advised to only leave home to go to work or school or for essential needs such as medical care, groceries, medicine and food pick up. Transition to remote working if that is possible.
If you haven’t already changed your Thanksgiving and other upcoming holiday plans, now is the time to do that. Do not travel, have guests in your home or go to gatherings outside your home.
The situation in Franklin County is dire. Stay home as much as possible. That is where you are safest and it is the number one way we can slow the rapid spread of COVID-19 in our community.
While Franklin County is the only one at level 4 currently, DeWine said there are similar stories through much of the state. Lake, Lorain, Montgomery have also been moved to the watch list.
“Other counties may not yet be seeing continuous, uninterrupted increases in the same way that is causing Franklin to move to purple, but make no mistake—almost all counties are seeing more cases and more healthcare use that could threaten the medical system if they continue,” said DeWine during his regular Thursday briefing.
In the latest map, there are 72 red counties, and only 15 orange counties. There are no yellow counties listed. All 88 counties are considered high incidence under the CDC guidelines.
“Our healthcare system is feeling the impact of this disease and hospitals are worried about being able to keep up with staffing of nurses and doctors and other support staff,” said DeWine.