CLEVELAND — For the fourth consecutive week, Cuyahoga County remains at a high community level for COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The CDC reports that Cuyahoga County has a COVID case rate of 224.68 per 100,000 residents, which is down slightly from last week. The county also posted a rate of 15.6 new COVID-related hospital admissions per capita over the past seven days.
Lorain County is also at the high or "orange" level for this week after reporting a COVID-19 case rate of 243.68 and a hospitalization threshold of 13.4.
The following other Northeast Ohio counties are ranked at the orange level by the CDC:
- Erie - 269.3 cases per 100K, 13.4 new hospitalizations
- Huron - 255.72 cases per 100K, 13.4 new hospitalizations
- Mahoning - 223.45 cases per 100K, 19.6 new hospitalizations
- Trumbull - 231.34 cases per 100K, 19.6 new hospitalizations
- Tuscarawas - 204.38 cases per 100K, 11.4 new hospitalizations
The CDC is advising that residents of the counties in the high category wear masks while in indoor public spaces, regardless of COVID vaccination status. In addition, those with compromised immune systems are warned to think twice about taking part in non-essential activities due to an increased risk of getting severely ill.
This week's data shows that all of the counties listed above have seen at least 200 new COVID-19 infections per 100,000 residents over the previous seven days, meaning the hospitalization threshold to get into this "orange" zone is lower. (20.0 is needed when the case figure is below 200).
All but two counties in the Buckeye State are at either the "yellow" level for medium, or "orange" level for high. Ashland and Richland counties are down to medium after being high last week and are joined by Ashtabula, Carroll, Lake, Portage, Geauga, Holmes, Medina, Summit, Stark, and Wayne, which indicates masks aren't recommended for all people but those who are immunocompromised should proceed with more caution.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine did not enact any new mask or health mandates the last time counties went "orange" late in the spring (partly due to a controversial new law limiting his pandemic powers), and is unlikely to do so this time. However, Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish did order all employees and visitors to wear face coverings inside government buildings, and private businesses and establishments across the state are still largely free to enact their own policies.
The Ohio Department of Health reported over 24,000 new cases of COVID-19 over the past seven days on Thursday. The figure represents a decrease of nearly 2,000 from last week's report and the smallest number in more than a month.