12 Ohio Counties Now at Alert Level 3

Twelve counties have triggered enough COVID-19 indicators to be at Red Alert Level 3, Gov. Mike DeWine announced at today's briefing on the pandemic. The counties are Hamilton, Butler, Clermont, Montgomery, Franklin, Pickaway, Fairfield, Wood, Lorain, Cuyahoga, Summit and Trumbull. 

Butler, Hamilton and Cuyahoga counties are on the watch list, meaning they are close to reaching Level 4. Franklin County dropped off the watch list of the alert system introduced last week. Huron moved down to Level 2.

In recent weeks, over 86% of the cases are not in congregate settings, signaling significant transmission in the broader community. Hamilton Co also hit a new threshold for the overall utilization rate for regional Intensive Care Unit beds, which exceeded 80% in five of the last days.

The governor announced the mask mandate for six counties new to the Red Alert Level will go into effect at 6 p.m. tomorrow. The mask rule was introduced two days ago, with the final health order released last night. 

The four-level, color-coded alert system – yellow, orange, red and purple – categorizes the COVID-19 factors in each of Ohio’s 88 counties based on seven data points:
  • Population case rate
  • Sustained increase in new cases
  • Proportion of cases not in a congregate setting
  • Sustained increase in ER visits for COVID-like illness
  • Sustained increase outpatient visits for COVID-like illness
  • Sustained increase in new COVID-19 hospital admissions
  • ICU bed occupancy
DeWine plans to update of the alert levels as the state moves forward with an assessment of data each Wednesday and alert adjustments on Thursday.