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Area to learn Thursday if Trumbull can shed masks

County to find out Thursday if mask mandate will be lifted

Timothy Mattern, left, and Sherri Woods, both of Warren, wear masks while chatting recently on Courthouse Square. Based on state data, Trumbull County could drop from level 3 (red) to level 2 (orange) when the new reports are released Thursday — potentially lifting the mask mandate. Staff photos / Allie Vugrincic

WARREN — The COVID-19 mask mandate that took effect in Trumbull County on July 2 could be lifted Thursday if a downward trend remains on one of the four indicators that flagged the county, placing it into a “red” level on the statewide alert system.

Trumbull is among 12 counties in the state listed at level 3 (red), requiring residents to wear a mask in public, with some exceptions.

To reach level 3, a county must have been flagged on four to five of seven indicators determined by the Ohio Department of Health. Trumbull has been flagged on four.

Based on state data, Trumbull could drop off one indicator this week. That would mean it could reach level 2 (orange) when the new reports are released Thursday, potentially lifting the mask mandate.

That indicator involves the number of new cases per capita. Specifically, Trumbull County must have less than 50 cases per 100,000 residents during a two-week lookback period.

Trumbull had 47.3 cases per 100,000 residents between June 24 and 30, but that dropped significantly to 14.6 cases between July 1 and 7 for a total of 61.9 cases over the two weeks, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

It initially hit level 3 July 2 — the day the COVID-19 advisory system was introduced — because of the 47.3 cases between June 24 and 30, and 51.4 cases between June 17 and 23. The mask mandate for counties in level 3 took effect last Wednesday.

But if the county doesn’t reach more than 35.4 cases per 100,000 residents between last Wednesday and today, it won’t have more than 50 cases per 100,000 residents. That will be one less indicator reached by the county when the next weekly report is provided Thursday.

If Trumbull drops from four to three indicators, masks would no longer be mandated in the county.

Three other indicators that Trumbull County surpassed, placing it into the red category, include a sustained increase in the number of new cases; increase in cases not related to congregate settings; and sustained increases in the number of emergency room visits.

STATE LEVEL

Despite indications that Trumbull County’s new cases are declining, big jumps in the number of cases continued Monday on the state level.

Of the nine days with the most new COVID-19 cases in the state, six of them occurred in the past six days.

That includes 1,261 cases reported Monday, the eighth-highest day.

Still, it was the least newly reported COVID-19 cases in the state since Thursday with 1,150 — the ninth-highest day.

In between, 1,525 cases were reported Friday, the most for a day; 1,358 on Saturday, the fourth-most; and 1,378 on Sunday, the third-most. On Wednesday, 1,277 cases were reported, the seventh-most for a day.

Also, the 5,522 cases between Friday and Monday is the most for a four-day period ever in the state.

Of the state’s 66,853 cases since the pandemic started, 26 percent were reported between June 28, about when cases started to significantly increase, and Monday.

Of those with the virus, 45,194 are “presumed recovered,” according to the Ohio Department of Health. Also, 3,064 have died, including six Monday. The Trumbull County Combined Health District reported two COVID-19 deaths Monday in the county that weren’t yet included in the state count.

Cases are at record levels, but deaths during the past few weeks are about half of what they were in late April and through most of May.

It is common for reported deaths and cases to lag behind actual ones because of delays in reporting data from local health districts, as well as the time it takes to file COVID-19 death certificates and determine if the virus was the reason for a fatality and / or illness.

Gov. Mike DeWine and health officials said increased testing plays a part in the increased number of cases, but it has more to do with community spread.

The rate of those testing positive is increasing with the seven-day average being 6.1 percent. On Saturday, the most recent date reported by the Ohio Department of Health, 18,294 people were tested with 6.5 percent coming back positive for the virus.

Trumbull reported 1,083 total cases on Monday, an increase of 14 since Sunday.

Mahoning County listed 1,971 cases, an increase of 23 since Sunday.

Columbiana County had 1,406 cases, an increase of 21 since Sunday. The Columbiana County Health District reported that 920 cases are inmates at the Federal Correctional Institution in Elkton and 90 are at long-term care facilities.

Two deaths were reported Monday in the Mahoning Valley for a total of 381 for the three counties.

Mahoning has 239, but none reported since Thursday. It still has the fourth-most deaths among Ohio’s 88 counties.

Trumbull has 82 deaths with two reported Monday. It continues to have the eighth-most deaths in the statewide.

Columbiana has 60 deaths with none reported since July 1. It is tied for 10th-most in Ohio.

dskolnick@tribtoday.com

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