Coronavirus: What we know about Clark County and the level 4 watch list

Clark County will find out on Thursday whether the county will move up to level 4, of the highest possible level, on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System that monitors the spread of the coronavirus.

The county was one of three in the state to be placed on a watch list for counties that could move up to level 4, otherwise referred to as the purple level. The state’s advisory system ranges from level 1 or yellow as lowest to level 4 or purple as highest and most severe. No county has received the purple rating.

ODH uses seven indicators when judging what level to give a county. On Thursday, Clark County hit six, the most the county has ever hit in a single week.

Indicators hit include new cases per capita, sustained increase in new cases, proportion of cases not in a congregate spread, sustained increase in emergency department visits for COVID-like illness, sustained increase in outpatient visits for COVID-like illness and sustained increase in new COVID hospital admissions. The only indicator the county did not hit is ICU bed occupancy.

Clark County Combined Health District Commissioner Charles Patterson said last week that if the county moves up to seven indicators, or even remains steady at six, it could mean the county will move up to purple.

He said he’s hoping one or more of the indicators will be dropped by tomorrow, but at the case rate the county is seeing and the increasing cases in the hospital it “is not indicating that they will go away anytime soon.”

After receiving the level 4 warning last Thursday, Patterson pleaded with residents to flatten the COVID-19 curve in the county by limiting their contact with people outside of their households.

Gov. Mike DeWine said according to CCCHD officials, a “number” of the county’s COVID cases have come from long-term care facilities and also many cases from “get-togethers.”

Clark County had 2,668 cases, 77 deaths and four probable deaths of the coronavirus as of Tuesday afternoon, according to ODH.

The county has had its deadliest month of coronavirus cases in October.

“The number of deaths this month is staggering,” Patterson said on Friday. “We’ve had 33 deaths in 23 days in October."

Last week, the county saw 195 new coronavirus cases. Patterson said every “man, woman and child” can help slow the spread of the virus in the county by “limiting their close contacts with people outside of their immediate household.”

Over the weekend, the Board of Clark County Commissioner partnered with the City of Springfield, the county’s Emergency Management Agency and the sheriff office to distribute 2,000 masks in New Carlisle and Springfield.

Michael Cooper, the spokesperson for the county, said they are hoping to distribute masks to the south side of Springfield by working with the Springfield Unit of the NAACP and at bus stops by working with the Clark County-Springfield Transportation Coordinating Committee.

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