DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Most of Ohio’s 88 counties remain in high or medium incidence levels for COVID-19 cases. Some Miami Valley health leaders believe cases will start to plateau or we could see another slight surge as kids return to school.

“It does appear that the most recent spike is plateauing or even on the way down,” said Miami Valley Hospital Chief Medical Officer Dr. Roberto Colon.

With three counties in the Miami Valley returning to medium community spread, local health leaders are optimistic that cases have started to trend downwards. Clark County Combined Health District Health Commissioner Charles Patterson said keeping activities outdoors has protected many Ohioans.

“Because there’s so much outdoor activity, that’s why we’ve seen a slow growth and looks like we’re about to plateau,” said Patterson. “But we haven’t seen that sharp upturn and sharp downturn especially because it happened in the summer months.”

Dr. Colon believes we may experience a slight bump in COVID-cases as students return to the classroom. But overall, he remains optimistic for the 2022 school year.

“We are likely going to see some of these pockets increase activity like schools or school systems,” said Dr. Colon. “Maybe within a classroom, multiple people being infected or a school will have a significant number of kids and teachers, but it is unlikely going to lead to a widespread community transmission that’s going to get us into serious trouble again.”

According to the CDC, Champaign, Clark and Miami counties went from “high” last week to “medium”. Butler, Darke, Greene, Montgomery, Preble and Warren counties remained at a “high” coronavirus level.

For residents in high community spread areas, the CDC recommends masking indoors regardless of vaccination status. Public Health — Dayton & Montgomery County just recommended masking for Dayton Public Schools as well.