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Several Northeast Ohio counties remain at CDC's high community level for COVID-19; Cuyahoga still medium as others drop

Residents in various communities are still advised to wear masks while in indoor public spaces. Six area counties that were high last week are now medium, however.
Credit: CDC

CLEVELAND — This past week, the state of Ohio saw its lowest COVID-19 caseload in more than two months, and the CDC is taking notice of the improvement.

Several counties went from being listed as having "high" community spread of the coronavirus seven days ago to now "medium" spread, including six here in Northeast Ohio. This means health experts no longer recommend wearing face masks for residents of those areas while in indoor public spaces.

Cuyahoga County remained in the "yellow" medium zone for the third week in a row, and was joined by Carroll, Erie, Portage, Stark, Tuscarawas, and Wayne after all were "orange" last week. Geauga, Holmes, Lake, Medina, and Summit are also still at the medium level.

The CDC has continued to relax its coronavirus guidelines in recent weeks and months, but still recommends masking for people living in "high" counties, regardless of vaccination status. To meet this threshold, counties must either see at least 20 new COVID hospitalizations per 100,000 residents in a given week or a combination of both 200 new cases and 10 new hospitalizations per capita.

Lorain County remained high for the second week in a row as it reported 212.7 new cases and 13.4 new hospitalizations per capita over the last seven days. It was joined by six other local counties, including three that were at medium only a week ago (Listed in bold):

  • Ashland - 229,98 cases per 100K, 10.3 new hospitalizations
  • Ashtabula - 227.27 cases per 100K, 15.5 new hospitalizations
  • Huron - 269.45 cases per 100K, 13.4 new hospitalizations
  • Mahoning - 144.3 cases per 100K, 23.1 new hospitalizations
  • Richland - 223.68 cases per 100K, 10.3 new hospitalizations
  • Trumbull - 158.61 cases per 100K, 23.1 new hospitalizations

By comparison, Cuyahoga County saw a case rate of 164.44 per 100K and a new hospitalization figure of 15.5, both decreases from last Thursday. The CDC still advises those in medium counties with compromised immune systems to wear masks and get tested for COVID-19 in certain situations.

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.

All but 12 of Ohio's 88 counties are at either the "yellow" level for medium or "orange" level for high, including the entirety of Northeast Ohio.

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