Masks urged in Ohio counties with elevated COVID spread

OHIO – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now recommending residents in 34 counties to wear masks regardless of vaccination status.

That’s eleven more than the CDC recommended Wednesday, according to the organization’s updated map from Friday.

The map shows that these 34 districts are in the “significant” (orange) or “high” (red) level for the spread of COVID-19. Many of the counties are either in the northeast or southeast of Ohio. The CDC recommends that anyone living in these areas wear a mask indoors and in public spaces.

Yellow stands for “moderate” and blue for “low” transmission rate.

Courtesy of the CDC.

On Thursday, the Ohio Department of Health reported the case rate of 77.4 per 100,000 people. Last week the rate was just over 46 per 100,000. The updated case rate is now well above the threshold Governor Mike DeWine will end all health care contracts in June.

In the spring, DeWine said the state would end COVID-19 restrictions if the case rate drops below 50, which it did on June 2.

ODH Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said Monday that the spread of the Delta variant, which is much more contagious than other strains, is the reason for the surge in cases.

Between Wednesday and Thursday, the state confirmed 1,205 new COVID-19 cases. According to state data, the 21-day average is 631. In the same period, 80 hospital admissions were documented, which is also above the 21-day average of 47.

Thursday marked the third straight day of more than 1,000 reported cases.

DeWine and Vanderhoff both said this week that the surge in cases could also be due to the vaccination freeze. Just over 5.7 million Ohioans were fully vaccinated as of Thursday, according to ODH.

Counties in the “high” level are:

  • France
  • Laurentius
  • Scioto
  • Adams
  • Miami

Those at the “essential” level include:

  • Lorain
  • Erie
  • Medina
  • Ashland
  • Huron
  • Crawford
  • Richland
  • Fulton
  • Williams
  • Henry
  • Putnam
  • Mercer
  • Shelby
  • champagne
  • green
  • Montgomery
  • Preble
  • Fayette
  • Clinton
  • labyrinth
  • servant
  • Hamilton
  • Brown
  • Highlands
  • Delaware
  • Fairfield
  • Meigs
  • guernsey
  • Belmont

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