New data shows the growing risk that coronavirus poses to Ohio citizens.

Ohio has reported its first purple county with Franklin County reaching Level 4. This means that residents of that county are at severe risk of exposure and should only leave home for work and to gather supplies.

Several counties were moved to a watch list as they inch dangerously closer to Level 4 territory. These counties include Lake, Lorain, and Montgomery, all 3 being hundreds of miles from Vinton. There is no longer a single county left in the state that is below a Level 3.

Vinton County is still at a Level 2, with increased exposure and spread throughout the county, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

The governor mentioned Vinton County during the conference, stating that the county is nearly at twice the high incidence threshold reporting level. The county was also the last in the state to report a case of the virus back in late April. 

Despite all this, the Governor has still not reached the point of ordering a full scale shut down. When asked if or when he would be willing to issue a statewide stay at home order, DeWine stated, “The reason we haven't done a full scale shutdown of the state Is because of the ramifications of that.”

Those he listed included lower reports of child abuse from children being out of class, higher rates of overdoes due to people being alone and not having someone to call 911, and the spike in mental health issues.

The biggest cause of the continued spread is gatherings outside of public spaces, such as large dinners or get-togethers with friends and those outside of one's personal bubble, the governor has previously stated. The recent curfew put in place by the governor is meant to curb this, but with Thanksgiving next week, families will most certainly choose to congregate and possibly infect one another.

A Senior Vice President at Ohio Health, Cheryl Herbert, spoke on the impact that continued spread has had on the states hospitals.

“Beds for critically ill patients are going to get harder to come by. We must find a way to push back this tsunami,” said Herbet. She further implored Ohioans to stay at home for Thanksgiving and avoid gathering with those outside your immediate bubble.

“If you haven't had COVID, be grateful. If you have had it and have recovered, be grateful - there are many others who haven't," she said.

“If you can stay home, stay home," said DeWine. “Most of this is about personal responsibility. The big spread is coming from what people do in their personal lives when interacting with friends and family outside of their household.”

Twitter: @amhulvalchick

Email: ahulvalchick@vintonjacksoncourier.com

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