MARION, OH: Today, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) placed Marion County on a Level Three Alert in the Ohio Public Health Advisory System.
A Level Three classification means the risk for exposure to COVID-19 has increased and sustained spread within the county has been identified in recent weeks. Marion County residents should continue to follow standard precautions and health orders.
Governor DeWine issued a statewide mask requirement effective 6:00pm on July 23rd. Masks are required in all indoor locations outside a residence, outdoors when unable to maintain six feet of social distance with people not in your household, and when waiting for, riding in or driving public transportation and rideshares.
The Ohio Department of Health reports Marion County’s trend data for recent weeks hit triggers in four of these leading indicators: new cases per capita, proportion of cases in non-congregate settings, sustained increase in emergency room visits, and sustained increase in outpatient visits (with COVID-like symptoms).
During the past 14 days, 57 COVID-19 cases have been identified which represents 15% of the total number of cases since the beginning of the pandemic. Marion County has approximately 106 cases per 100,000 individuals, this is almost double the cases rate of last week. Marion County is also seeing an increase in the number of people seeking medical care due to COVID-19. From July 1 and July 17, visits for COVID-19 to the emergency department increased 185%. More people are also visiting their doctors and being diagnosed with COVID-19. Between July 1 and July 21, average outpatient visits increased by 63%. In recent weeks, 76% of the cases are not in congregate settings, signaling significant transmission in the broader community.
To bring Marion County back down to a lower alert level, Marion County residents should continue to follow the standard precautions to prevent the spread of infectious disease:
• Conduct a daily health check and stay home if you are sick.
• Maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet from non-household members.
• Wear face coverings in public, especially when social distancing is difficult to maintain.
• Avoid traveling to high-risk areas.
• Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
• Use hand sanitizer frequently.
For local information regarding COVID-19, please visit www.marionpublichealth.org. The most up-to-date state alert level map, as well as guidance and recommendations for citizens in those counties, can be found here. Ohioans can also call the ODH COVID-19 hotline with any questions or visit coronavirus.ohio.gov. The call center is open from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).