“This is by far the highest cases we’ve ever seen,” Gov. Mike DeWine said. “The virus is raging throughout the state, and there is nowhere to hide.”
Last week, Clark, Hamilton and Cuyahoga counties were on a level 4 watch list. They qualified for purple, or level 4, last week, though DeWine said a county must meet the requirements for two consecutive weeks before they can move up to level 4. All three counties remained at level 3 Thursday and no new counties were added to the watch list.
“Cuyahoga, Clark and Hamilton counties were on our watch list last week approaching alert level purple,” 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.”
Level 4 is the highest level of the state’s public health advisory system. No counties reached level 4 since the alert system was revealed at the end of June.
Ohio has 43 red, or level 3 counties, including Butler, Clark, Greene, Montgomery and Warren counties, making up 78% of the state’s population. There are only two remaining yellow counties in the state.
The state also reported its third highest number of new hospitalizations in a day with 194. The state’s five highest days for hospitalizations have all taken place in the last week and a half, DeWine said.
The governor called on Ohioans to get back to the basics to fight the virus, including washing hands, practicing social distance, and having good ventilation while inside.
“Despite today’s grim data, I’m optimistic,” DeWine said. “Ohioans have the tools, they know what works, and we always rally when we need to rally. I know people will do that. We can slow down this invader. The decisions each Ohioan makes each day will determine what kind of winter we have.”
With the virus continuing to spread throughout the state, DeWine said that things like Halloween parties “don’t make sense this year," but he noted that trick-or-treat could take place if done carefully.
DeWine called on counties to create a COVID Defense Team to assess each county’s situation, inventory assets and focus on what each community can do to fight the virus.
The defense teams should consist of commissioners, health officials, mayors, business leaders, religious leaders and others.
DeWine also noted that there would not be a regularly scheduled coronavirus press conference on Tuesday, Election Day. The next press conference will be Thursday, Nov. 5.
Ohio’s latest travel advisory is recommending against travel to nine states with a coronavirus positivity rate of 15% or more. The states include Alabama, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, South Dakota, Utah and Wisconsin.
Anyone who traveling to Ohio from those states are asked to self-quarantine for 14 days.