COLUMBUS, Ohio — As coronavirus cases continue to plateau throughout most of Ohio, one local county saw its risk level drop dramatically on Thursday.
Just a week after entering the Level 3 "red" zone, Gov. Mike DeWine announced today that Lorain County fell all the way to Level 1 "yellow," indicating only "active exposure and spread" as opposed to "very high exposure and spread." Local health officials credited increased mask wearing as well as greater caution in planning gatherings as the main reasons for the decline.
Last week, Lorain County met four of the Ohio Department of Health's seven indicators used to measure the spread of COVID-19, with new cases and hospital visits all at high levels over a two-week period. In the last seven days, nearly all of those indicators have fallen, and so far the county only meets the indicator showing more than half of cases have been in non-congregate settings.
Lorain was one of two Northeast Ohio Counties in the red zone last week, with Erie County also experiencing a high number of cases. However, Erie was able to fall to Level 2 "orange" this week after the number of new cases per capita in a two-week period fell from 156 to 94.
It was not all good news in the region, as Wayne County rose to Level 3 for the first time thanks to an increase in new cases and hospital visits. Experts blamed outbreaks at businesses and churches, as well as a "large" outbreak at a long-term health care facility.
For the moment, 39 counties are in the yellow zone, the highest number since July 2. Seven Counties are in the red, the majority in Western Ohio.