Counties must meet four or five of the seven data indicators to be red. A county will remain at level 3 until it meets less than four indicators and it drops below the CDC high incidence threshold of more than 100 cases per 100,000 people over a two-week period.
Clark County meets four of the state’s seven indicators under the public health advisory system that was announced in July.
Champaign County meets five of the seven indicators in the alert system.
The Clark County Combined Health District on Saturday approved a stay-at-home advisory for all county residents for 28 days.
The advisory asks residents to only leave home for essential activities such as work, school, getting groceries or food and seeking medical care, Clark County Combined Health District Commissioner Charles Patterson said. The board also advises against “social gatherings, scheduling events designed to bring people together and traveling in and out of the state,” the resolution says.
The advisory will run through Dec. 27, which is two incubation periods for the coronavirus.
Ohio’s purple level 4 status means counties are experiencing sustained increases in outpatient, emergency, and hospital visits by COVID-19 patients, according to a release from the Ohio Department of Health on Wednesday.
The purple level 4 means there is “severe exposure and spread” of COVID-19. The color is meant as a warning to residents to heed health recommendations, but the state does not impose further restrictions on counties based on the alert level.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine previously said guidance for residents living in areas with the highest warning is to stay home except for necessary travel to get supplies and services. Given the exponential spread and thin hospital capacity, Montgomery County residents were already advised to stay home unless necessary to go out.
“The ongoing high prevalence of the virus throughout Ohio, as reflected in today’s alert system update, is very dangerous as we move into the holidays,” said DeWine. “We have heard again this week from hospital administrators and front-line staff about how they are overwhelmed. It is imperative that Ohioans take the virus and this current situation seriously.”
Ohio has seen more than a month of increasing and case numbers and weeks of increased hospitalizations. ODH notes that 10 of the 11 counties on the level 4 watch list are in the Akron and Cincinnati regions, which now are seeing increased demand for adult ICU beds due to increases in COVID-19 ICU patients.
Montgomery County also has a stay-at-home advisory in effect through Dec. 17. Statewide, there also is a curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.