Montgomery County remains purple, state’s highest coronavirus alert level

Montgomery County remained at level 4, or purple, on the state’s public health advisory system. It is the most severe level.

Warren County, which was on the watch list last week, remained at level 3, or red.

“Unfortunately, we’re still at level 4 and we just remind people that this is going to be a continued fight to reduce the number of cases,” said Dan Suffoletto, Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County public information supervisor. “We’re going into a holiday period where people will want to get together, which is only natural, but we’re asking people to maintain their distance from others.”

As of Thursday, there have been 23,828 total cases in Montgomery County, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

Suffoletto said in addition to the total number of cases, the number of hospitalizations and ICU use is important. When the hospitals are full, it affects people with other conditions that would be crowded out.

What is important is for people to continue to practice COVID-19 safety guidelines, such as staying home as much as possible and when out wearing masks and social distancing, in addition to frequent hand washing.

There are eight total purple counties in Ohio: Montgomery, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Portage, Richland, Stark and Summit. Franklin County, which was at level 4 last week, moved down to level 3.

Three counties, Madison, Fairfield and Cuyahoga, are on the level 4 watch list.

Outside of Montgomery County, the rest of the Miami Valley is at level 3, or red level.

Gov. Mike DeWine noted that when the state released the advisory system it was meant to serve as a warning.

“Five months ago when we developed this system it was intended to serve as an early warning system,” he said. To let Ohioans know when to take increase precautions at a county level.”

He compared it to looking at a weather forecast, noting that the system looked at increasing trends lines in new cases, hospital admissions, outpatient visits and more.

“This is all very helpful information to tell us that a storm might be coming,” DeWine said. “However, today we are in a storm. So quite candidly this map has less value for us.”

The governor said his office will continue to share the information, but that at this point in the pandemic there will be more of a focus on hospital utilization, particularly in regards to the ICU.

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