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Franklin County, including Columbus, becomes first to go 'purple' in state's COVID-19 advisory system

The Ohio Public Health Advisory System uses seven indicators to assess the degree of the virus spread in each county.

Franklin County is back on the watch list for Level 4 (Purple) in the state's advisory system to track the spread of COVID-19 as of April 8.

According to the state's system, Franklin County is hitting six to seven of the indicators for exposure and spread of the virus.

If the same marks are hit next week, the county will move to Level 4, which is described as severe exposure and spread.

Franklin County is currently the only county on the watch list.  

A majority of the state is at Level 3 (Red). Currently, 32 counties are at Level 2 (Orange) and four at Level 1 (Yellow).

Most of central Ohio is at Level 3, except for Knox, Logan and Morrow which are at Level 2.


HOW IT WORKS: Ohio Public Health Advisory System 

The public health advisory system has seven indicators to help determine a county's level:

  1. New cases per capita: Triggered when a county has an average of 50 cases per 100,000 people over a two-week period
  2. Sustained increase in new cases: Triggered by a five-day period of sustained growth
  3. Proportion of cases not congregate cases: Triggered when at least half of new cases originate from non-congregate settings during at least one of the past three weeks
  4. Sustained increase in ER visits: Triggered by an increase in COVID-19-related emergency room visits over a five-day period
  5. Sustained increase in outpatient visits: Triggered by an increase in COVID-19-related visits to outpatient settings (such as telehealth appointments) over a five-day period
  6. Sustained increase in new COVID-19 hospital admissions: Triggered by a five-day period of sustained growth in new admissions
  7. ICU bed occupancy: Triggered when at least 80% of a county's ICU beds are occupied over at least three of the last seven days

For however many indicators a county meets, they will be placed into one of four color-coded levels to display the possible risks involved:

  • Level 1 (yellow, 0-1 indicators): Displays active community spread; all current health orders should be followed
  • Level 2 (orange, 2-3 indicators): Displays increased exposure and spread; besides following all current orders, residents should also exercise a "high degree of caution"
  • Level 3 (red, 4-5 indicators): Displays "very high" exposure and spread; residents should limit activities as much as possible
  • Level 4 (purple, 6-7, indicators): "Severe" exposure and spread; only leave home for supplies and services