Lorain, Summit counties added to Ohio’s Tier 3 coronavirus list where masks are required

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Department of Health released a revised map of the state’s staggered coronavirus risk levels for each county Thursday, adding four counties to all seven in Level 3 required by Governor Mike DeWine’s order to wear masks in most public places.

Lorain and Summit Counties joined Cuyahoga and Trumbull as Tier 3 Red Counties of Northeast Ohio on the map released Thursday, with Huron County moving from Tier 3 last week to a less severe tier 2. The others Tier 3 counties in the state are Franklin, Fairfield, Pickaway, Hamilton, Clermont, Butler, Montgomery and Wood.

Cuyahoga, Hamilton and Butler counties are marked with a star, which means they are approaching Tier 4 conditions. All of Ohio,

DeWine on Tuesday ordered that masks be worn in Tier 3 counties, including in indoor public places when traveling on public transportation.

For newly added Tier 3 counties, the mask mandate takes effect at 6 p.m. Friday, DeWine said.

Explaining why Cuyahoga County is approaching Level 4, DeWine said the county reported 999 cases of COVID-19 between June 24-30, its biggest rebound since the pandemic began. Most of the cases in the county over the past three weeks were contracted in non-congregated settings, indicating significant transmission in the broader community.

In Summit County, the average number of new cases per day increased from 11 to 30 from June 16 to 30, DeWine said.

More people in Summit County seek medical attention, and COVID-related emergency room visits increased from an average of 5.5 per day to 8.5 per day from June 16-30.

The county is also experiencing an influx of people who visit their doctors and receive a diagnosis of COVID-19. From June 16 to July 2, the average number of daily outpatient consultations increased from 11 to 29.

“Summit County currently has faith-based and workplace-based long-term care center outbreaks,” said DeWine.

Lorain County has reported a recent increase in its rate of new coronavirus cases, DeWine said, with an increase in the county’s daily average cases from 5.5 to 14 from June 6 to 29.

“The community is also experiencing early signs of more people seeking medical attention for COVID-19 symptoms,” said DeWine. “From June 16 to 30, COVID-19 visits to the emergency department doubled from an average of three per day to six per day.”

More people in Lorain County also visit their doctors and receive a diagnosis of COVID-19, and coronavirus-related outpatient visits increase from 8 to 26 from June 16 to July 2, DeWine said.

Community outreach sources in Lorain County include workplaces, child care centers and religious organizations, he said.