DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — In some areas of the country, major cities have started to recommend indoor masking once again as COVID-19 cases started to rise. Here in the Miami Valley, experts say they are cautiously optimistic that cases will remain low.

“Every county in Ohio is in the low category now based on the cases and hospitalizations,” said Health Commissioner of Clark County Combined Health District Charles Patterson.

Patterson says positivity rates have slightly increased but COVID-related hospitalizations have plummeted across Ohio. The Miami Valley has achieved a major milestone, averaging less than 30-cases-per-100,000 residents. However, cases are still present in communities.

“Folks are done with COVID but COVID is not done with us,” said Patterson. “But I don’t anticipate a surge over the next several months based on the incredible surge we had in January and February of the omicron virus.”

86 out of Ohio’s 88 counties are deemed low incidence levels, only Adams and Hocking Counties are considered moderate, so indoor masking is not recommended by the CDC across the state. Public Health still encourages Ohioans to prevent opportunities to spread when possible.

“You still need to take your own personal situation into account, those around you that you come  into contact with,” said Public Health Dayton & Montgomery County Dan Suffoletto. “If your mother and father are in a nursing home not doing well, you may want to wear a mask anyways just to take that extra step to protect them.”

Miami County Public Health says they are following CDC’s guidelines and are not recommending masking at this time. Patterson is hopeful even if cases rise slightly in high-dense cities, recovery will be easy.

“We had less than 10 cases in the county, actually when we look at it in the last seven days we had one that was reported,” said Patterson. “We also consider the fact that people may be using at-home test kits and not reporting them, but I’m confident that our data is not skewed significantly due to those not being reported.”