CLEVELAND — Several counties in Northeast Ohio are listed by the CDC as being at a 'high' community level for this week.
Among the new counties on the list is Summit County, which the CDC reports has a COVID case rate of 200 per 100,000 residents as well as 11.1 new COVID-related hospital admissions per capita over the past seven days.
Cuyahoga County, which the CDC reports has a COVID case rate of 237.4 per 100,000 residents as well as 15.1 new COVID-related hospital admissions per capita over the past seven days, remains on the list for the second straight week.
Eight other Northeast Ohio counties are also in the 'orange' or 'high' category of COVID-19 community level:
- Ashtabula - 210.82 cases per 100K, 15.1 new hospitalizations
- Erie - 249.1 cases per 100K, 16 new hospitalizations
- Huron - 296.91 cases per 100K, 16 new hospitalizations
- Lake - 209.43 cases per 100K, 15.1 new hospitalizations
- Lorain - 284.67 cases per 100K, 16 new hospitalizations
- Mahoning - 267.18 cases per 100K, 23.3 new hospitalizations
- Portage - 224.66 cases per 100K, 11.1 new hospitalizations
- Trumbull - 270.74 cases per 100K, 23.3 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).
Just two counties in the Buckeye State are at the lowest "green" level. Geauga, Medina, Stark, Wayne, Ashland, and Richland are among those at the "yellow" or "medium" level. The medium level 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.