Clinton Co. now Red Level 3; increase in ER visits ‘concerning’


By Tom Barr - tbarr@wnewsj.com



WILMINGTON — Clinton County is now a Red Level 3 county under the Ohio Public Health Advisory System, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced Thursday.

This is the first time that Clinton County has reached this risk level.

A Red Level 3 Public Health Emergency “indicates very high exposure and spread of the COVID-19 virus,” stated Clinton County Health Commissioner Pamela Walker-Bauer.

She said four of the seven indicators were flagged:

• New cases per capita

• Sustained increase in new cases

• Proportion of cases not in a congregate setting

• Sustained increase in Emergency Department visits

“The flagging of this fourth indicator is concerning,” said Walker-Bauer, “A sustained increase in Emergency Department visits tells us that more individuals are not well and are seeking professional medical care.”

She said Ohio COVID-19 Risk Level Guidelines for the public include: decrease in-person interactions with others; consider necessary travel only; and limit attendance at gatherings. High-risk individuals should continue to take extra precautions.

Clinton County as of Wednesday evening has had 665 total cases of COVID-19 — 492 confirmed and 173 probable — since reporting began, but that total has increased by nearly 300 in just over three weeks.

Ohio set another daily record of new cases with 4,961 reported Thursday — about double the daily records set just a week ago.

Eleven Clinton Countians are currently reported hospitalized.

To minimize the spread of COVID-19, Clinton County residents are reminded to follow the “Stay Safe Ohio” order, practice social/physical distancing and wash their hands often.

To learn more about the Ohio Public Health Advisory System, visit: https://bit.ly/2U0QbnK .

For more information on COVID-19 in Ohio visit the Ohio Department of Health website www.coronavirus.ohio.gov. The Ohio Department of Health updates confirmed cases daily at 2 p.m.

For more information on COVID-19 resources in Clinton County, visit the information hub www.covidcc.com and for the latest updates, follow the Clinton County Health District on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Jobless report

The number of people filing initial unemployment compensation claims spiked over last week as the economic impact of the pandemic continues to hit Ohio hard, the state human services agency said Thursday, according to the Associated Press.

For the week ending Oct. 31, Ohioans filed 21,263 initial jobless claims, a 21% increase over the previous week, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

The state also said Ohioans filed 265,613 continuing unemployment claims, considered a more reliable indicator of the economy’s strength. That’s down only slightly from last week.

The state has distributed more than $7.1 billion in payments to more than 833,000 Ohioans during the pandemic. In recent days Ohio has begun the process of distributing an additional $420 million in federal pandemic aid dollars to small businesses, struggling renters, bars and restaurants, arts groups and more.

In addition, the state insurance fund for injured workers on Monday approved a record $5 billion in repayments to employers to help ease the economic burden posed by the coronavirus.

Ohio continues to see record numbers of COVID-19 cases. Over the past two weeks, the rolling average number of daily new cases has increased by 1,503, an increase of 73%, according to the Associated Press’ COVID Tracking Project.

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By Tom Barr

tbarr@wnewsj.com