Written By: Ishton W. Morton – July 8th, 2020
For the past several weeks I have been inundated with securing material and sitting behind my sewing machine making face masks. Most of which I have donated.
However, on Tuesday July 7th, 2020 Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced a new mandate detailing a new order from the Ohio Department of Health for the wearing of face masks to be effective at 6:00 P.M. Wednesday night July 8th, 2020.
Accordingly, this order will require seven counties in the state to wear masks and shall include Hamilton, Butler, Montgomery, Franklin, Huron, Cuyahoga and Trumbull.
According to DeWine, it is deem necessary for individuals in these counties to wear a mask in any indoor location that is not a residence, or when they are outdoors and unable to maintain a distance of 6 feet or more.
Also, the masks shall be required when utilizing public transportation.
Seemingly, the governor’s order is not applicable to children under the age of 10 old and any other minor who cannot safely wear a mask or face covering. Face masks for children can be problematic. Predicated on my experiences of making these masks, I’ve had to construct a smaller version of the adult masks for children which may vary by the age of the child.
Moreover, there seems to be other limitations to the Governor’s Order. Apparently, the governor had this to say; “The order reflects the mask guidance that has existed for employees and businesses under their health and safety guidelines, which does not require a person to wear a mask if their physician advises against it, if wearing a mask is prohibited by federal regulation, if communicating with the hearing impaired, when alone in your office or personal workspace and other similar measures.”
The Governor added, anyone guilty of violating the mask mandate could be cited with a misdemeanor, and the mandate will be enforced by local authorities.
Subsequently, the order shall stay in effect as long as these counties are in a red level or if they increase to the Purple Alert Level 4.
Accordingly, if the counties drop to an Orange Level 2, the mask requirement will also be drop.
Furthermore, at the same time, state officials has unveiled a new color-coded warning system for the state of Ohio last week, made to show county-by-county hot spots as the corona virus continues to spread across the state.
Reportedly, the new system or model is consisting of yellow, orange, red and purple. This system or model is designed to show prominence of the virus in each county, making it easier to implement additional closures or measures on a county-by-county basis.
Accordingly, a red county shall be classified as a Level 3 Alert, the second highest in Ohio. Red counties shall be classified as very high for exposure and spread of corona virus. Ohioans should limit their activities as much as possible in these counties.
Additionally, Red counties have triggered four or five of the seven indicators for the designation. Those indicators are as follows:
- NEW CASES PER CAPITA: When the data show that a county has had an average of 50 cases per 100,000 people over a two week period that triggers a flag for an increasing case rate. Using this data means we are taking into account the population of a county when monitoring case increases
- SUSTAINED INCREASE IN NEW CASES: If the number of new cases in a county continually increases, that’s another indicator of virus spread. A county will be flagged for meeting this indicator if the data show at least a five-day period of sustained new case growth.
- PROPORTION OF CASES NOT CONGREGATE CASES:Data showing more than 50% of new cases originating from non-congregate settings during at least one of the past three weeks will trigger a flag on this indicator.
- SUSTAINED INCREASE IN ER VISITS: ER data will show us the trend in the number of people who visit an emergency department with COVID-19 symptoms or a COVID diagnosis as a result of the visit. A county is flagged when there is an increase in such ER visits over a five-day period.
- SUSTAINED INCREASE IN OUTPATIENT VISITS:This data set looks at the number of people visiting outpatient settings, including tele-health appointments, with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 symptoms. A county is flagged when there is an increase over a five-day period.
- SUSTAINED INCREASE IN NEW COVID-19 HOSPITAL ADMISSIONS: When the numbers show at least a five-day period of sustained growth in the number of county residents with COVID-19 who are admitted to a hospital, the county will be flagged for meeting this indicator.
- ICU BED OCCUPANCY:This indicator looks at regional data for both COVID-19 and non-COVID use of ICU beds. A county is flagged for this indicator when the regional ICU occupancy goes above 80% for at least three of the last seven days.
Ironically, on Tuesday Ohio reported 948 cases pushing its total number of probable and reported cases statewide to 58,904. Also, the state has reported 134 hospitalizations.