COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Columbus is one of 11 major cities on a White House list of cities that should take ‘aggressive’ steps to mitigate coronavirus outbreaks.
The cities were mentioned by Dr. Deborah Birx in a private phone call with state and local leaders, according to the Center of Public Integrity.
The cities identified were Baltimore, Cleveland, Columbus, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Miami, Minneapolis, Nashville, New Orleans, Pittsburgh and St. Louis.
“When you first see that increase in test positivity, that is when to start the mitigation efforts,” said Dr. Birx in a recording of the call obtained by Public Integrity. “I know it may look small and you may say, ‘That only went from 5 to 5-and-a-half [percent], and we’re gonna wait and see what happens.’ If you wait another three or four or even five days, you’ll start to see a dramatic increase in cases.”
Franklin County is one of 19 counties in Ohio currently under a Level 3 or Red emergency level under the state’s Public Health Advisory system. The county was at one time approaching Level 4, but was taken off the watch list after the first week.
That listing is based on seven data points measuring the spread of coronavirus in the community.
On July 7, Gov. DeWine issued a mandatory mask order for Ohio counties in levels 3 and 4. Wednesday, DeWine expanded that order to cover the entire state.
“We have to get this virus under control,” DeWine stated. “Wearing a mask is going to make a difference in what our fall looks like.”