CHILLICOTHE – On Thursday, the state released its latest map for Ohio’s Public Health Advisory and Ross County had reached the red level.
The red level means there is very high exposure and spread of the coronavirus.
Gov. Mike DeWine said Ross County had reached red in part due to cases at the prison, but also because of gatherings such as backyard barbecues and an overnight sleepover. He said the county had moved from 7 to 10 cases a day two weeks ago up to 14 to 15 cases a day.
“Over the last few weeks, we have seen an increase in non-congregate COVID-19 cases,” said Ross County Health Commissioner Garrett Guillozet.
“These cases are because of an increase in the prevalence of COVID-19 within our community. Through our contract tracing efforts, we have found several events/locations where individuals have been exposed. This includes churches, schools, employers, sporting events, sleepovers, birthday parties, and family gatherings. Events like these have been linked to at least two or more cases.”
RCHD continues to receive complaints regarding noncompliance of public health orders, said Guillozet. All residents are encouraged to follow all public health orders to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 within the community.
“At this time, RCHD continues to urge residents to maintain social distance, wear a face covering and avoid group gatherings,” he said. “Additionally, if someone is symptomatic, they should seek a COVID-19 test. These are proven measures to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 within our community.”
According to the data from the Ohio Department of Health, Ross County has 1,042 total cases, with 833 presumed recovered. The county has had 31 deaths, according to ODH.
Inmates at CCI make up about a quarter of all total cases, with 243 since March.
Long term health care/nursing home residents make up the next largest congregate population with 141. This number has nearly doubled in the last week, with 98 cases reported in this category on Oct. 2.
Healthcare workers and corrections employees follow, with 59 and 31 cases respectively.
Non-congregate make up slighty more than half of all total cases, with 567 total.
Ross County meets four of the Ohio Department of Health’s seven indicators of a major outbreak, including new cases per capita- at 143.48 per 100k population over the last two weeks- a large rise in average new cases over the last seven days, non-congregate cases over 50% each week over the last three weeks, and average emergency department visits rising from two per day to more than four over the last seven days, according to the
Pike County, which had been in red, continued in that status this week. Fayette County is also red.
Regional case numbers (Both confirmed and probable):
This article originally appeared on Chillicothe Gazette: Ross County goes red in latest public health advisory