COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – The state of Ohio is utilizing a new color-coded Ohio Public Health Advisory Alert System to indicate the severity of the COVID-19 situation in any given county.
The system has four levels determined by seven data indicators that identify the risk level for each county and a corresponding color code to represent that risk level.
Those indicators include:
- New cases per capita: When the data show that a county has had an average of 50 cases per 100,000 people over a 2-week period, that triggers a flag for an increasing case rate. Using this data means the state is taking into account population of a county when monitoring case increases.
- Sustained increase in new cases: If the number of new cases in a county continually increases, that’s another indicator of virus spread. A county will be flagged for meeting this indicator if the data show at least a five-day period of sustained new case growth.
- Proportion of cases not congregate cases: Data showing more than 50% of new cases originating from non-congregate settings during at least one of the past three weeks will trigger a flag on this indicator.
- Sustained increase in ER visits: ER data will show the trend in the number of people who visit an emergency department with COVID-19 symptoms or a COVID diagnosis as a result of the visit. A county is flagged when there is an increase in such ER visits over a five-day period.
- Sustained increase in outpatient visits: This data set looks at the number of people visiting outpatient settings, including telehealth appointments, with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 symptoms. A county is flagged when there is an increase over a five-day period.
- Sustained increase in new COVID-19 hospital admissions: When the numbers show at least a five-day period of sustained growth in the number of county residents with COVID-19 who are admitted to a hospital, the county will be flagged for meeting this indicator.
- ICU bed occupancy: This indicator looks at regional data for both COVID-19 and non-COVID use of ICU beds. A county is flagged for this indicator when the regional ICU occupancy goes above 80% for at least three of the last seven days.
Based on data available as of June 30, Montgomery County meets five of the seven indicators, which puts it at a Level 3 with very high exposure and spread in the area.