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Ohio in ‘worst’ phase of pandemic

DeWine sounds alarm after daily cases of COVID-19 soar to highest level yet

For the second day in a row, the state saw a record-breaking number of new coronavirus cases reported Thursday statewide.

However, Trumbull County moved down to the orange level on the state’s scale for risk of virus spread to join Columbiana County. Mahoning County remains at the higher red level.

“This is the worst situation Ohio has been in,” DeWine said, referring to the frequency of cases.

More Ohioans are vulnerable today than ever before because of how far the spread has gone, DeWine said.

Indicators that kept Mahoning County in the red, the second highest level, for a second week include having more than 50 cases per 100,000 people; the rate is 88.3. And, the seven-day new cases average is at 9.71, which has been trending down this month, since a high of 22 new cases on average at the beginning of the month.

More than 50 percent of new cases are not in a congregate setting; about 43 percent of the cases are in congregate settings. And, the county is experiencing enough emergency room visits to meet that indicator. The seven-day average is 8.29, though it is down from 11.29 on Oct. 10. Outpatient visits also meet the indicator, the seven-day average of outpatient visits is at 64.29 per day. But, the county has not met the indicator for hospital admissions, according to the Ohio Public Health Advisory System.

Mahoning County saw 51 new cases Thursday, bringing its total to 3,476, with 283 deaths, 536 hospitalizations and 2,819 presumed recovered.

After spending a week at the red level, Trumbull County went down to orange. Though there are still more than 50 cases per 100,000 people in the county — it is at 57.6 — other indicators were not met. The county still registers most of the cases in non-congregate settings — 95 percent, but hospital admissions, new case increase averages and emergency room visits have not met the indicators necessary to keep the county in the red.

Cases increased by 11 Thursday in Trumbull County, bringing the total to 2,125, where 134 deaths have been reported, 362 hospitalizations and 1,801 presumed recovered.

Columbiana County remains at orange. Though the indicators for emergency room visits, hospitalizations and the seven-day average for new cases are not met, the indicators for non-congregate settings, outpatient visits and the per capita rate have been met.

There are 56.9 cases per 100,000 people in the county, 100 percent of cases are in a non-congregate settings, and the rate of outpatient visits over seven days is about 15, up from 10 in late September.

Eleven new cases reported in Columbiana County on Thursday bring the total to 2,053, with 86 deaths, 231 hospitalizations and 1,866 presumed recovered.

A record for new cases statewide was set Wednesday, when 2,039 new cases were reported, and again Thursday when 2,178 new cases were reported in Ohio. There have been 175,843 cases in the state, 5,038 deaths, 16,824 hospitalizations and 147,063 presumed recovered.

DeWine said strict adherence to public health guidelines is the only way to get through the increased spread the state is experiencing.

“We have the ability to do it,” DeWine said. “These are basic things.”

Despite naysayers who doubt the effectiveness of masks, avoiding crowds and maintaining social distance, the consensus is out. Masks work, DeWine said.

“I hope the data we saw today will be a wake-up call,” he said.

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