Crawford County Classified Red – Level 3 – Due to Increase in COVID-19 Cases

BUCYRUS/GALION – Crawford County has transitioned to a Level 3 (red) county on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System. The Governor has released that there are 9 new red counties for a total of 38 red counties this week. Counties that are listed as red on the Advisory System indicate there is high exposure and spread of the virus occurring. Residents of the red counties are encouraged to limit activities as much as possible.

“I urge all Bucyrus and Crawford County residents to redouble efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19,” says Jeff Reser, Mayor of Bucyrus. “We have been complacent, but now is not the time to ignore our individual efforts to take COVID-19 seriously. The health of a loved one may depend on your efforts to social distance, sanitize, and wear a mask.”

Based on the review of the data, Crawford County has transitioned to red based on the following indicators:

  • New cases per capita (296.4 cases per 100,000 residents)
  • Sustained increase in new cases (5.9 average cases on 10/3 increased to 11.7 by 10/13)
  • Proportion of cases not in a congregate setting
  • Sustained increase in outpatient visits (6.7 average visits on 10/4 increased to 9.1 on 10/14)

The advisory was created as a color-coded system to increase awareness regarding the virus’ spread and to empower individuals, businesses, local government and the community with their responses and actions.

The county ratings are based on seven indicators:

  • New cases – rate of 50 or more new cases per 100,000 residents over the last two weeks.
  • Sustained increase in new cases – Increase in cases for five straight days.
  • Non-congregate living cases – At least 50% of the new cases in one of the last three weeks have occurred in outside congregate living spaces such as nursing homes and prisons.
  • Emergency rooms – Increase in visits for COVID-like symptoms or a diagnosis for five straight days over the last 3 weeks.
  • Doctor visits – Increase in outpatient visits resulting in confirmed cases or suspected diagnosis for COVID-19 for five straight days over the last 3 weeks.
  • Hospitalizations – Increase in new COVID-19 patients for five straight days over the last 3 weeks.
  • Intensive Care Unit (ICU) occupancy – Alert triggered when ICU occupancy in a region exceeds 80% of total ICU beds and at least 20% of the beds are being used for coronavirus patients for at least three days.

For a county to be placed on an alert level: meeting none or one of the criteria is Level 1 yellow; two or three is Level 2 orange; four or five is Level 3 red; and six or seven is Level 4 purple.

Kate Siefert, Health Commissioner of Crawford County Public Health, pointed out to the community that the map and the change in status to red is a reminder to follow public health precautions, such as: maintain a social distance of at least 6 feet when around others outside of your household, wear facial coverings in public (especially when social distancing is difficult to maintain), follow good hand hygiene through frequent hand washing, cover your coughs and sneezes, avoid touching your face with unwashed hands, avoid contact with high-risk individuals, and stay home when not feeling well and/or exhibiting symptoms. 

Now that Crawford County is red, the precautions encourage people to also decrease in-person interactions with others outside of their household, avoid unnecessary travel, and limit gatherings of any number.

“The number of cases in rural areas are on the rise. We are seeing an increase in cases associated with churches and gatherings at private residences,” explained Trish Factor, Health Commissioner, Galion City Health Department. “The measures that we’re able to take right now can go a long way in containing the virus, but they don’t do any good if you don’t practice them. It’s not easy, but it’s also not complicated.”

The Ohio Public Health Advisory System is updated every Thursday and released to the public during Governor DeWine’s 2:00pm press conference.

To keep up with the local reports of COVID-19 cases for local residents, along with other public health information, follow Avita Health System, Crawford County Public Health, and Galion City Health Department on Facebook.

To answer questions about COVID-19, Avita’s Coronavirus Information Hotline is available 7 days a week from 8:00am – 4:30pm at 419-468-0800.