OHIO, USA — Editors Note: The above video originally aired on Nov. 20, when Lorain and Lake Counties were originally put on the watch list to reach the Ohio Public Health Advisory System's highest level.
Lake, Lorain and Montgomery counties were elevated to level 4 "purple" on the Ohio Department of Health's Public Health Advisory system today, the system's highest warning level. These three counties join Franklin County at level 4. Franklin County is entering its second week at this risk level.
“The ongoing high prevalence of the virus throughout Ohio, as reflected in today’s alert system update, is very dangerous as we move into the holidays,” said Governor Mike DeWine, in a press release. “We have heard again this week from hospital administrators and front-line staff about how they are overwhelmed. It is imperative that Ohioans take the virus and this current situation seriously.”
In addition to the three counties reaching Level 4 Purple, 11 other Ohio counties have been added to the Level 4 watchlist because of the stresses on local healthcare systems. The system requires these counties to continue to meet all six criteria before they are raised to Level 4.
Those 11 counties are:
- Adams County
- Clermont County
- Hamilton County
- Medina County
- Portage County
- Richland County
- Stark County
- Summit County
- Trumbull County
- Warren County
- Wood County
Ten of those 11 counties are in either the Akron or Cincinnati area, which according to the Ohio Department of Health have fewer ICU beds available, largely due to increases in COVID-19 patience.
Under Level 4 Advisory, residents in those counties are recommended to only leave home for services and supplies.