Today, the Dayton city ordinance requiring people to wear face masks or coverings in most public places went into effect at 8 a.m.
Mayor Nan Whaley has said the ordinance is complaint-based, meaning businesses and employers should take the lead in notifying police about anyone not wearing a mask or face covering in public spaces. A violation could result in an $85 fine.
Also today, Cincinnati City Council has passed its own city ordinance to make wearing a mask or face covering mandatory. The 7-2 vote makes the Queen City the third major city in the state to mandate the wearing of face masks. Columbus passed its ordinance this week as well.
Thursday, Gov. Mike DeWine announced school guidance for this academic year, focused on getting children back in the classroom. He also unveiled the Ohio Public Health Advisory alert, a color-coded system to help counties identify hot-spots in reporting the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Area educators are applauding the guidelines.
- Guideline 1: Vigilant assessing for symptoms, including administrators notifying local health departments of any positive cases.
- Guideline 2: Wash and sanitize hands to prevent spread
- Guideline 3: Thoroughly clean surfaces
- Guideline 4: Practice social distancing
- Guideline 5: Face covering policy will have to be developed by every district in the state
- School staff will be required to wear face coverings unless it is considered unsafe or would significantly hamper the learning process. Face shields may be appropriate in certain situations.
- The state recommends children in grades three and up wear face coverings unless there is a medical or developmental reason not to. Districts will create individual policies.
- DeWine intends to work with the general assembly to assist schools with meeting the financial impact of following the guidelines. He expects to release exact amounts in about a week, noting, “wellness dollars” will likely be included for districts in the coming years.
Ohio Public Health Advisory System:
- The state is unveiling the Ohio Public Health Advisory System, which will provide local health departments and other state organizations with critical information to help combat flare-ups of health related issues.
- The system uses seven indicators that flag local health departments when certain thresholds are met:
- NEW CASES PER CAPITA: When the data show that a county has had an average of 50 cases per 100,000 people over a two-week period, that triggers a flag for an increasing case rate. Using this data means we are taking into account population of a county when monitoring case increases
- SUSTAINED INCREASE IN NEW CASES: If the number of new cases in a county continually increases, that’s another indicator of virus spread. A county will be flagged for meeting this indicator if the data show at least a five-day period of sustained new case growth.
- PROPORTION OF CASES NOT CONGREGATE CASES: Data showing more than 50% of new cases originating from non-congregate settings during at least one of the past three weeks will trigger a flag on this indicator.
- SUSTAINED INCREASE IN ER VISITS: ER data will show us the trend in the number of people who visit an emergency department with COVID-19 symptoms or a COVID diagnosis as a result of the visit. A county is flagged when there is an increase in such ER visits over a five-day period.
- SUSTAINED INCREASE IN OUTPATIENT VISITS: This data set looks at the number of people visiting outpatient settings, including telehealth appointments, with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 symptoms. A county is flagged when there is an increase over a five-day period.
- SUSTAINED INCREASE IN NEW COVID19 HOSPITAL ADMISSIONS: When the numbers show at least a five-day period of sustained growth in the number of county residents with COVID-19 who are admitted to a hospital, the county will be flagged for meeting this indicator.
- ICU BED OCCUPANCY: This indicator looks at regional data for both COVID-19 and non-COVID use of ICU beds. A county is flagged for this indicator when the regional ICU occupancy goes above 80% for at least three of the last seven days.
- The color codes include the following and are issued by counties:
- Alert Level 1 (YELLOW): A county has triggered zero or one of the seven indicators, and there is active exposure and spread. The majority of these counties are seeing a moderate number of cases, according to the CDC’s definition. Currently in the Miami Valley the following counties are at Alert Level 1: Miami, Mercer, Auglaize, Logan, Champaign, Darke, Shelby, and Clinton Counties.
- Alert Level 2 (ORANGE): A county has triggered two or three of the seven indicators, and there is increased risk of exposure and spread. These counties are seeing cases that are growing in the community in the last two weeks. Currently in the Miami Valley the following counties are at Alert Level 2: Preble, Greene and Clark counties.
- Alert Level 3 (RED): A county has triggered four or five of the seven indicators, and there is very high exposure and spread. Risk is very high. Ohioans should limit activities as much as possible. Wear a mask when you go out. Currently in the Miami Valley the following counties are at Alert Level 3: Butler and Montgomery counties
- Alert Level 4 (PURPLE): A county has triggered six to seven of the indicators, and there is severe exposure and spread. Stay home as much as possible. No counties are in purple right now, however Franklin County, which includes Columbus is on the watch list.
- In Montgomery County, five of the seven indicators are met, according to the advisory system. ER daily visits have more than doubled and outpatient visits have more than quadrupled.
- In Butler County, four of the seven indicators are met, according to the advisory system. As of this past week, the average new cases in Butler County per day doubled. The number of COVID-positive patients in the Southwest Region’s hospital beds and ICUs has also doubled since the second week of June.
Other things you should know today, Friday:
- Dayton City Hall is reopening to the public on Monday, July 6.
- If you ride RTA or work for the transit authority, you’ll be required to wear a face mask or covering beginning today.
- DeWine said most bars and restaurants are doing a good job at reopening safely, but some are not. Since May, when restaurants and bars reopened, the Ohio Department of Commerce has been working with local jurisdictions to extend liquor permits to outside spaces, such as parking lots and sidewalks, so seating capacity can expand to keep patrons distanced. So far, more than 300 expansion requests have been granted.
- The state is reviewing its policies on childcare amid the pandemic. DeWine said he’s waiting for new data, including a study, before making any changes. The state expects some of that data in about 10 days. It will be used to determine if the state will increase student ratios in childcare centers.
- Greene County public school systems have developed common agreements on how to handle the coronavirus pandemic as district’s prepare their individual plans to return to the classroom.
- Lance Himes, interim director, Ohio Department of Health, extended several orders, including the closure of all K-12 schools in Ohio, until July 7.
- Beginning July 20, nursing homes will be permitted to have outdoor visitations, as long as all safety standards are met. Nursing homes should consider the status of cases in their communities and in the nursing home, staffing levels, access to testing for residents and staff, PPE supplies and hospital capacity when deciding to reopen for outdoor visits.
LATEST STATE DATA: As of Friday afternoon, there have been at least 55,257 confirmed or probable cases in the state, 2,903 deaths, and 8,084 hospitalizations, according to the Ohio Department of Health.
The ODH website noted that it has been experiencing technical issues with the Ohio Disease Reporting System and those technical issues resulted in an incorrect number of deaths reported on Thursday. The issues have reportedly been resolved with today’s report.
The state is now reporting presumed recovered cases after developing a calculation that provides an accurate representation, Lt. Gov. Jon Husted. Thursday Husted announced there are 38,987 presumed recovered cases. That figure is reached by taking the total number of cases, minus deaths, minus cases with an onset date in the last 21 days.
Ohio has an estimated population of approximately 11.7 million, census records show.
Of the state’s positive cases, 10% are from Ohio’s prisons. At those prisons, there has been an increase in testing.
The state reported that a total of 824,481 people have been tested in Ohio
In the state, 7,395 cases are health care workers, which is 13 percent of the cases.
Some other things you should know today:
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