Cuyahoga County was placed on a watch list marking it at risk for moving from level three alert to level four alert, the highest on the Ohio Public Health Advisory Alert System.
“Cuyahoga County residents are seeking care for COVID-19 related concerns at higher levels than ever before,” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said during a July 9 press briefing.
Butler and Hamilton counties have also been placed on the watch list while Franklin County was removed from the watch list but remains at level three alert, or "red" alert level, meaning there is very high exposure and spread of COVID-19.
Between June 24 and June 30, Cuyahoga County had 999 cases reported, the largest number of COVID-19 weekly cases reported since the beginning of the pandemic.
From June 16 to June 28, the average new cases per day more than doubled from 66 to 151.
From June 16 to July 1, ER visits for COVID-19 more than doubled from an average of 19 per day to 50.
Over the same time period, the average number of outpatient visits with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses increased from 41 to 233.
The average hospital admissions per day more than doubled from 7 on June 16 to 20 on July 2.
Most of the cases in the county were in non-congregate settings during the last three weeks.
The risk levels are determined by seven public health data points. A county reaches level three, or “red” alert, if it meets four or five indicators and six or more indicators raises the alert to level four, or purple.
Wood, Clermont, Pickaway, Fairfield, Summit and Lorain have been raised to a “red” alert level. Under state orders signed by DeWine, residents in counties at the “red” alert level will be required to wear facial coverings while in public effective 6 p.m. July 10. A total of 12 counties have triggered the "red" alert level.
In the case of counties that have moved out of the "red" alert, such as Huron County, the mask order will no longer be in effect. However, DeWine encouraged residents to continue to wear masks in that situation.
DeWine announced the release of guidelines for college and university campuses to reopen.
The guidance included minimum operating standards that should occur on all campuses. Each campus must develop policies and procedures for COVID-19 testing and isolation of symptomatic students, faculty and staff members.
To address the increasing costs for schools to enact, DeWine announced his administration and the Ohio General Assembly are requesting the Controlling Board to approve $200 million in funding for two- to four-year college and universities.
Another $100 million will go to K-12 public and private schools if approved.
The funds are part of the coronavirus release fund, which comes from the CARES Act.
“We intend this money to be used for students to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” he said. “Again, we want our kids back in school and we want them safe. This money will help them achieve that.”
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced someone on his staff has tested positive for COVID-19.
The staff member was not named. DeWine said the staff member has been working from home.
“This is just a reminder this virus is very, very much with us,” DeWine said.
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted announced a $2.5 million grant for training providers like universities, colleges, technical centers or private sector training businesses called Individual Micro-credential Assistance Program.
The grant was created to provide opportunities for residents who are low income, partially unemployed or totally unemployed to participate in a training program. Training provers can be reimbursed up to $3,000.
Training providers interested in applying can find more information at http://IMAP.Development.Ohio.gov.
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services will be able to draw down federal funding authorized under the CARES Act to enhance the state’s SharedWork program, Husted said.
Participating employers agree to reduce the affected employees’ hours by a uniform percentage, between 10% and 50%, for up to 52 weeks. Those employees will receive SharedWork compensation, which is a prorated unemployment benefit.
Husted also encouraged people who have been fully recovered from COVID-19 for at least two weeks to consider donating plasma.
The Convalescent plasma, which is plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients, is rich in antibodies that could possible attack the virus that causes COVID-19. It shows promise to lessen the severity or shorten the length of COVID-19.
Ohio has 61,331 total cases of COVID-19 and 3,006 total deaths, the Ohio Department of Health reported July 9.