COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – Mercer County, now at a red Level 3 on the state’s advisory map, is the “most concerning county in the state right now” says Governor Mike DeWine.

“Mercer County is our most concerning county in the state right now. The daily case rates in Mercer County have increased more than 200% in recent weeks, and they have had significant community spread. Citizens, businesses, and local officials in Mercer County need to do everything they can to undertake the mitigation efforts we know slows spread of the virus–social distancing, wearing masks, good hand washing hygiene, and reducing interactions with anyone outside your household,” said Governor Mike DeWine.

According to state data, Mercer County has the highest case rate per capita in Ohio at 262.3 cases per 100,000 residents over the past two weeks. The daily new cases increased from an average of three per day in early July (July 11) to an average of 10 per day at the end of July (July 31).

It is also the only county in Ohio to trigger the hospitalization increase indicator this week. Recent outbreaks include a funeral, workplaces, and some long-term care facilities. Travel in and out of the state may also be a contributing factor, state officials say.

In the Miami Valley, Montgomery County remains at a red Level 3 alert.