DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — With COVID-19 cases on the rise in Montgomery and Greene counties, Public Health is encouraging residents to start masking indoors once again. Both counties have reached high incidence levels, the only two in the Miami Valley.

“It’s to be expected, we’re going to see cases regardless, just like the flu, even if you’re vaccinated you can still spread it you can still get it,” said Greene County Public Health PIO Laurie Fox.

Both Greene and Montgomery counties have moved to high incidence levels of COVID-19 cases. Public Health believes the increase is from the July 4th weekend which was expected, but in response, they encourage many organizations to start masking once again indoors.

Public Health’s recommendation to have Ohioans mask indoors has spurred changes in local communities, Wright Patterson Airforce Base and Dayton City Commission meetings are now requiring indoor masking, regardless of vaccination status. While COVID-related deaths and hospitalizations aren’t spiking as much, Public Health of Dayton and Montgomery County is encouraging residents to take extra precautions.

“If you are sick, stay home and then, if appropriate, take a COVID-19 test to determine what your sickness actually may be,” said PHDMC Dan Suffoletto.

Greene County is averaging 228 cases per 100,000 residents, the highest average in the Miami Valley. They say while masking indoors may help stop the spread, it’s going to take the entire community stepping in.

“It’s just community spread and we still have a lot of people saying they’re not going to get the vaccine but remember, that personal choice may affect someone else,” said Fox.

The Coronavirus Dashboard shows Clark County as a medium incidence level for cases, but if their cases continue to rise, Clark may be the next to reach high incidence levels.

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base beginning Tuesday will require masks for all, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status. Additionally, they will transition to Health Protection Condition level Charlie at 6 a.m. on July 19 in response to steadily rising cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations in surrounding counties.

There are four operational changes base personnel will see:

  • Less than 50 percent of normal occupancy in the workplace where mission permits
  • Mandatory screening testing for unvaccinated personnel
  • Indoor mask wear is mandatory except for specific instances which meet DoD FPCON exception criteria
  • Limited social gatherings to less than 50% of room occupancy