Coronavirus: Champaign County at level 3 for first time; Clark County stays red

The Clark County Combined Health District held a free drive-thru COVID-19 testing clinic in the parking lot of Kenton Ridge High School Friday. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
Clark and Champaign counties are at level 3, or red on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System for coronavirus. Champaign County reached that level for the first time. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Champaign County is among seven counties to move to level 3, or red for the first time on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System.

Champaign County had 527 total coronavirus cases and 4 total deaths as of Thursday, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

“It has been very consistent with what we have been seeing across the state and other similar counties," said Gabe Jones, the Champaign County Health Commissioner. He said there has been 63 new cases reported in the county this week.

Jones said that they were expecting the classification as they have been observing these trends over the last few weeks.

“We have a lot of community spread right now. Cases are continuing to rise. We are not seeing any specific trend or in a specific geographical area. It is really happening all over the county,” Jones added.

Champaign County hit four of the seven indicators the state uses for determining how a county rates.

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The state uses seven indidators to determine a county’s rank.

Champaign County hit four of those indicators last week. They are: new cases per capita, sustained increase in new cases, proportion of cases not in a congregate spread, sustained increase in outpatient visits for COVID-like illness, according to ODH data.

The three indicators the county did not hit are sustained increase in emergency department visits for COVID-like illness, sustained increase in new COVID hospital admissions and ICU bed occupancy.

Clark County moved back to level 3 last week after spending a week on the watch list for level 4 or purple, the most severe rating. Clark County maintained level 3 this week.

There were 3,193 total cases of the coronavirus and 57 total coronvirus deaths as of Thursday, according to ODH.

Clark County continues to deal with outbreaks at long-term care facilities. Two Springfield long-term care facilities reported a total of nearly 150 active cases on Wednesday, according to data from the Clark County Combined Health District.

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Allen View Healthcare Center reported 70 current resident cases and 19 current staff cases as of Wednesday. Villa Springfield Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center reported 40 current resident cases and 11 current staff cases.

According to a statement on CommuniCare Health Service’s website, the company that oversees Allen View, the health system is “paying close attention to all reports and recommendations surrounding the COVID-19 virus.”

Cases across Ohio continue to surge with Ohio breaking its daily case record for the third time in a week as the state reported more than 4,000 cases for the third straight day.

The state added 4,961 cases for a total of 235,170, according to the Ohio Department of Health. In the last three days Ohio has added 13,261 cases.

“This has never gone up this fast,” Gov. Mike DeWine said during a press briefing on Thursday. “This has just skyrocketed.”

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The governor pushed back against claims that the state’s increase in cases was due to increased testing, noting that cases have increased at a higher rate than testing has.

Since Sept. 24, Ohio has increased the total number of tests by 44%, he said. In that same period, cases increased by 280%.

As of Thursday, 86% of Ohioans live in a level 3, or red county.

“This is yet another sign that this disease is affecting ever more parts of the state—parts of the state that previously had never had such high levels of the virus,” the governor said.

There are 56 red, or level 3, counties in Ohio, the most the state has ever reported and an increase of 13 counties from last week.

Of the 56 red counties, seven had never been red before.

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DeWine announced new members to the Ohio Department of Health Thursday, including naming Stephanie McCloud as the state’s new health director.

McCloud was previously appointed as director of the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation by DeWine.

The governor also named Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff as chief medical officer of the Ohio Department of Health.

Vanderhoff has worked as the senior vice president and chief medical officer of OhioHealth for more than a decade.

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The state was hovering around an average on 1,000 cases a day in mid September, but as of Thursday is averaging 2,825 daily cases.

Facts & Figures

527: Total cases of COVID-19 cases for Champaign County

4: Total COVID-19 deaths in Champaign County

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