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State Extends COVID-19 Order, Announces New County-Level Alert System

Governor DeWine's administration recently issued a new health order indefinitely extending the state’s mass-gathering ban and social-distancing rules for a wide range of businesses.

The new order, signed by interim Ohio Department of Health Director Lance Himes, is different from previous state coronavirus orders in that it has no set end date. Rather, the order states that it will remain in force until DeWine lifts the state of emergency he declared in early March. The other major difference is that school buildings will be able to reopen in the fall.

The DeWine administration has stated that the order may be revised if new scientific research comes out or other developments occur. You can read the full text of the order here.

Governor DeWine also recently announced a new COVID-19 public alert system.

The Ohio Public Health Advisory System will provide data and information to combat flare-ups as they occur in different parts of the state. The system consists of four levels that provide Ohioans with guidance as to the severity of the problem in the counties in which they live based on a variety of indicators such as ICU bed capacity, sustained increase in hospital admissions for COVID-19, and new cases per capita. Detailed descriptions for each indicator can be found on Alert Levels: Alert Level 1 Public Emergency (Yellow): Baseline level. County has met zero or one indicator. Active exposure and spread. Follow all health orders. Alert Level 2 Public Emergency (Orange): County has met two or three indicators. Increased exposure and spread. Exercise a high degree of caution. Follow all current health orders. Alert Level 3 Public Emergency (Red): County has met four or five indicators. Very high exposure and spread. Limit activities as much as possible. Follow all current health orders. Alert Level 4 Public Emergency (Purple): County has met six or seven indicators. Severe exposure and spread. Only leave home for supplies and services. Follow all current health orders.

Facial coverings are now also required for counties that are at least level 3 according to recent health orders from the Ohio Department of Health.

Profiles for the counties currently categorized in Alert Level 3 can be found on the new Ohio Public Health Advisory System website


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