As he does each Thursday, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine revealed the latest map for the state's coronavirus (COVID-19) Public Health Advisory System.
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And when he did, it had significant news for Northeast Ohio.
In particular, Summit County, Medina County, Stark County, Portage County and Richland County have now reached a Level 4 'purple' coronavirus risk level -- the highest level listed on Ohio's Public Health Advisory System. A county is labeled Level 4 'purple' when a county meets six of the seven indicators for two consecutive weeks and denotes "severe exposure and spread" of the coronavirus.
Meanwhile, Lake County and Lorain County remain 'purple,' as they were last week, as does Montgomery County in Southwest Ohio.
Additionally, Cuyahoga County is one of three Ohio counties to have been placed on the watch list for Level 4 'purple.' While officially, Cuyahoga County remained labeled as Level 3 'red,' which denotes "very high exposure" and spread of the coronavirus, it currently possesses six of seven indicators required for purple, but has yet to do so for a second consecutive week. In other words, if Cuyahoga County's outlook doesn't improve by next week, it will officially move to 'purple' for the first time since the Public Health Advisory map was introduced in July.
In addition to Cuyahoga County, Fairfield County and Madison County have also been placed on the watch list for Level 4 'purple.' In October, DeWine said that he wouldn't introduce additional restrictions for counties that reach Level 4.
"We're not going to issue additional orders," DeWine said at a press briefing on Oct. 28. "It's just one more piece of information. Going into purple is a signal that potentially we have a hospital problem."