Coronavirus: What does alert Level 4 mean under health advisory system?

Coronavirus: What does alert Level 4 mean under health advisory system?
Stock photo of face masks and gloves. (Marko Klaric/EyeEm / Getty Images)

MIAMI VALLEY — For the first time since the Ohio Public Health Advisory System was unveiled early on during the pandemic, a Miami Valley county is on the watch list to potentially rise to Alert Level 4 under the system, but what does that mean?

Gov. Mike DeWine said Clark County is on the verge of entering this most serious category under the system.

MORE: What are the criteria used to assign counties a level in the health advisory system

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Alert Level 4 means a county has met six to seven of the seven indicators used to assign counties to a level for two consecutive weeks. A county is placed into a Alert Level 4 watch status during the first week.

Alert Level 4 means there is severe exposure and spread in a county.

Clark County met six indicators this week, only failing to meet the ICU bed occupancy criteria.

Clark County’s health commissioner cautions more restrictions could be on the way if the county does not see an improvement in multiple COVID-19 indicators over the next week.

“If we go purple we will have to make some major changes to try to right the ship,” said Charles Patterson, health commissioner.

County officials are now rushing to distribute 145,000 masks received recently, set up new testing sites and have discussion with local leaders about what new regulations might look like should Clark County be upgraded to “purple” next Thursday.