Yesterday, Governor DeWine announced Franklin County moved from purple to red in the Ohio Public Health Advisory System. It is important to realize this does NOT mean Franklin County residents are at less risk of COVID-19. We find ourselves in an elevated plateau – meaning we are currently holding at considerably high levels of new cases, hospitalizations, ICU bed occupancy and outpatient visits. Cases remain very high at 627 cases per 100,000 residents, compared to a month ago when the average was only 267. Our positivity rate also now stands at 18 percent — up from 14 percent just one week ago. We must remain vigilant to do all we can to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community to protect the health of those we love, preserve our health care system and allow us the additional time needed until a vaccine is widely available.
The Columbus and Franklin County Stay at Home Advisory remains in effect until December 18 and we urge everyone to stay at home to the greatest extent possible. Residents are advised to only leave home to go to work, school or for essential needs such as medical care, groceries, medicine and food pick up. Residents also are strongly advised not to have any guests in their homes and to limit meetings and social events to 10 individuals both indoors and outside, and to avoid traveling. As a reminder, if you do go out, always wear a mask, keep a six-foot social distance from others and wash your hands often. Be sure to continue to follow the retail mask requirement and curfew orders issued by the Ohio Department of Health. In Franklin County, we are at a critical time and we all are on the frontlines of this fight against COVID-19. Please join us to protect the health of our community.