COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) — Franklin County is the first county in Ohio to move to a “Level 4 Public Emergency.” Governor Mike DeWine said three other counties are on track to move to purple by next week: Lake, Lorain and Montgomery County.
DeWine started his Thursday briefing touching on why both Wednesday and Thursday’s coronavirus numbers were delayed or lower than anticipated.
“We made a decision to double-check all antigen test results, so the 24-hour case change is low. Our data team tells us there are 12,000 antigen tests that have not yet been double-checked. Most of the 12,000 are expected to be confirmed,” said DeWine.
This is the first week since the pandemic began that there are no counties in the yellow, with every county being in the orange, red and now purple.
“Other counties may not yet be seeing continuous, uninterrupted increases in the same way that is causing Franklin to move to purple, but make no mistake — almost all counties are seeing more cases and more healthcare use that could threaten the medical system if they continue,” said DeWine.
Health experts say a challenge for Montgomery County is the amount of people who travel through the area for work, but with the advisory and curfew, hopes are they will limit movement.
“If you’re not concerned about your own health, you’re not concerned about contracting covid, there’s other people you need to be thinking about and try to protect them as well,” said PIO Public Health- Dayton & Montgomery County Dan Suffoletto.
With limited time before the holiday season starts, Suffoletto isn’t sure if there will be any significant change in the data.
“Having any large scale difference in one week of time is very difficult, there’s a 14 day incubation period in the cases, so you can become positive at any time there,” said Suffeoletto. “Any reduction would be helpful but it really needs a longer time frame when you;re talking about seeing a trend.”
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley calls on the community to take care of each other and think of the bigger picture.
“For it to work, we have to start behaving like we did in March and April and that’s up to us,” said Whaley. “I’m hoping Daytonians listen cause if not, I think further issues will have to happen because we are really worried about our health care system.”
The governor reminded Ohioans that the biggest threat the state is facing lies in the burden COVID-19 places on our healthcare systems. The state has 3,829 people hospitalized for the coronavirus and 943 of those are in the ICU.