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Ohio coronavirus update: Summit and Lorain counties move to Level 3; Gov. DeWine unveils plan to reopen colleges and universities

Cuyahoga County has been marked as approaching Level 4 (purple) -- the highest level on the state's scale,

CLEVELAND — On Thursday, Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted held a briefing with the latest on the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic at the Ohio Statehouse. 

DeWine announced that both Summit and Lorain County have been upgraded to Level 3 (red) in the state's current risk level for the coronavirus (COVID-19), triggering a state-issued order mandating masks be worn in public in both counties.

In addition, Cuyahoga County has been marked as approaching Level 4 (purple) -- the highest level on the state's scale, which denotes "severe exposure and spread" of the coronavirus.

RELATED: Summit and Lorain County upgraded to Level 3 coronavirus risk, Cuyahoga County approaching Level 4

DeWine began Tuesday's press conference by announcing his plan for reopening Ohio's colleges and universities this fall. 

According to DeWine, the guidance includes minimum operating standards that should occur on all campuses, in addition to best practices to further enhance those standards. These guidelines include the requirement for every campus to develop policies and procedures for COVID-19 testing and the isolation of symptomatic students, faculty, and staff members. Symptomatic testing will take priority over asymptomatic testing.

RELATED: Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine releases guidance for college campuses reopening amid coronavirus

A full list of the state's guidance can be found at coronavirus.ohio.gov.

Partially due to the costs associated with increased testing, DeWine said that he has requested that the Controlling Board of the General Assembly approve a request to allocate $200 million for higher education and $100 million for K-12 educational institutions. The funding would come from the federal CARES Act and schools would be able to use it to meet their unique individual needs.

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