Coronavirus: Clark County remains at level 3, taken off watch list

A man is silhouetted against the wall of a white tent, illuminated by the sun, as he gets a COVID-19 test earlier this year at the Clark County Combined Health District's free COVID testing clinic at Hayward Middle School.
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A man is silhouetted against the wall of a white tent, illuminated by the sun, as he gets a COVID-19 test earlier this year at the Clark County Combined Health District's free COVID testing clinic at Hayward Middle School.

Credit: Springfield News-Sun

Clark County today remained at level 3, falling off the state’s level 4 coronavirus watch list.

“Cuyahoga, Clark and Hamilton counties were on our watch list last week approaching alert level purple,” Gov. Mike DeWine said. “This week their cases and hospitalizations are at an elevated plateau – removing them from the list. Even though they are not purple – there are still serious concerns here.”

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Clark County was one of three counties placed on a watch list last week. At the time DeWine explained all three counties on the list qualified for level 4, but that counties must meet the criteria for two straight weeks before they move up.

It was Clark County’s first time on the watch list. None of Ohio’s counties have been designated as purple since the alert system was announced this summer.

DeWine said that county health officials told his office today that Clark County is seeing “alarming increases.” The county has reported 271 cases in the last seven days and there have been 41 deaths attributed to the virus this month.

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“What we see in these three counties is similar to what we see in the rest of the state—case numbers are continuing to go up, and healthcare utilization is trending upward,” the governor said. “This is concerning. This is not good.”

The levels are based off seven indicators new cases per capita; sustained increase in new cases; proportion of cases not congregate cases; sustained increase in emergency room visits; sustained increase in outpatient visits; sustained increase in new coronavirus hospital admissions; and ICU bed occupancy.

A county must meet six or seven indicators for two weeks in a row to be at level 4, or purple.

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While there are no mandates at the state level connected to level 4, Clark County Combined Health District Commissioner Charles Patterson previously said he would ask residents to stop meeting with people who don’t live with them if the county moved up a level. However, he noted, the county would not be in a lockdown.

“We are not going to put additional regulations on the people of Clark County," Patterson said. “The lockdown was very difficult for many people and for the economy. We are first going to give the people of Clark County the chance to do this themselves.”

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