Coronavirus: Montgomery County remains level 3, new cases continue to fall

Montgomery County still has a “high incidence” of coronavirus cases, though the number of new cases detected has recently declined.

The new COVID-19 case data and health care county-level data was shared Thursday afternoon as part of the weekly update on what the level of coronavirus spread is in each Ohio county, with each county’s risk rated under one of four alert levels.

The Ohio Public Health Advisory System has four levels of alerts, based on how many of seven different indicators of coronavirus spread that each count meets. A level four alert is the highest alert level and means people in that county are advised to only go out in public for essentials.

Montgomery County meets four of those seven indicators and remained at a level three alert when the map was updated on Thursday. This is based on its levels of new cases per capita; having emergency department visits increasing for at least five consecutive days in the last three weeks for COVID-like illness or diagnosis; having at least five days in a row of rising outpatient visits for confirmed or suspected COVID; and over the last three weeks having a week with more than half of cases outside of congregated settings.

New cases continue to decrease in Montgomery County. There were 500 new cases detected in the last two weeks in Montgomery County, according to the health department. Last weeks report stated Montgomery County had 590 new cases during the past 14 days.

Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County recommends that while the county is at a level three that employees should work from home where possible; the public should not attend large social gatherings or events designed to bring people together like festivals, conferences or spectator sports; that churches are encouraged to have in-vehicle or online services; as well as other detailed guidance reported online at

Emergency room visits have increased, Ohio Gov. DeWine said, but the seven-day average has gone down from last week’s seven-day average.

This week, the seven-day average of emergency department visits in Montgomery County are 9.29. Last week the seven-day average was 11.46, according to the health department’s data. DeWine said although cases are decreasing, the increase in emergency room visits is an early sign that coronavirus cases may creep back up.

Hospital admissions of county residents also continue to decline. As of Aug. 11, the seven day average was 2.71. Last week’s seven day average was 3.7 hospital admissions.

After a previous rise, there are indications of COVID-19 care demand at hospitals slowing. About 82% of ICU beds in the region were reported full as of Aug. 11 and about 5.83% were full with COVID-19 patients. A week prior, 75% of regional ICU beds were reported occupied and 7% were occupied with COVID-19 patients.

Sarah Hackenbracht, CEO of Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association, said the people coming into area hospitals with positive coronavirus cases has gone down and the number of suspected cases in the region has also gone down.

“The continued impact that we’re seeing in the hospitals is that this downward trend of hospitalizations as well as those individuals who become very, very sick with COVID-19 and require care in the intensive care unit or on a ventilator continues to decrease, but that doesn’t mean that COVID is going away in any way, shape or form,” said Hackenbracht. “But what I think part of that leads to is that the people who are coming in for care and treatment or sometimes younger and not quite as ill as what we were seeing very early on.”

Hackenbracht emphasized that no matter what age someone is, everyone is at risk of catching the coronavirus and having serious complications from it.

Shelby, Darke, Miami, Preble, Greene, Butler and Warren counties remain at level two. Champaign County is now also level two. Last week it was the only county at level one in the Miami Valley region.

Hackenbracht said the counties surrounding Montgomery County moving to level two confirms that community spread is happening and that the coronavirus is not just clustered in Montgomery County.

“This is a long-term situation,” said Dan Suffoletto, Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County spokesman. “It’s a battle that will be continuing for the foreseeable future.”

Suffoletto said cases can spike at any time and that it is difficult to draw a conclusion from the movement on numbers over the course of a couple of weeks.

Public Health - Dayton and Montgomery County is giving out free masks to the public to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. The next event is on Friday from 1 to 4 p.m. at St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church in Dayton.

There will also be another pop-up testing site on Tuesday, Aug. 18, from noon to 6 p.m. at Kettering Field. This will be a drive-thru event.

“We just want to make sure people continue to take precautions and people continue to avoid large gatherings,” Suffoletto said.

Summary of Ohio Public Health Advisory Alert System 7 indicators

When determining whether a county is a level one, two, three or four alert, the system looks at how many of the following seven indicators that counties meet:

New cases per capita: Flagged if greater than 50 cases per 100,000 residents over the last two weeks. Allows for counties with different population sizes to be appropriately compared.

Sustained increase in new COVID-19 hospital admissions: Flagged if increasing trend of at least 5 consecutive days in overall cases by onset date over the last 3 weeks. Reflects disease spread in the population.

High proportion of cases that aren’t congregate cases: Flagged if proportion of cases that are not in a congregate setting goes over 50% in at least one of the last 3 weeks.

Sustained increase in emergency visits for COVID-like illness: Flagged if increasing trend of at least 5 consecutive days in the number of visits to the emergency department with COVID-like illness or a diagnosis over the last 3 weeks.

Sustained increase in outpatient visits: Flagged if increasing trend of at least 5 consecutive days in the number of people going to a health care provider with COVID symptoms who then receive a COVID confirmed or suspected diagnosis over the last 3 weeks.

Sustained increase in new COVID-19 hospital admissions: Flagged if increasing trend of at least 5 consecutive days in the number of new hospitalizations due to COVID over the last 3 weeks.

ICU bed occupancy: Flagged if percentage of the occupied ICU beds in each region goes above 80% for at least three days in the last week, and more than 20% of ICU beds are being used for COVID-19 positive patients for at least three days in the last week.

About the Author