Summit County hits Level 3 in coronavirus risk system

By Emily Mills

After several weeks at the second-lowest level in the state’s coronavirus risk level system, the state placed Summit County at Level 3, or red, on Thursday, indicating there is very high exposure and spread of the virus in the county.

Summit County was previously Level 3 on the color-coded, four-tier Ohio Public Health Advisory System for a two-week period in July before dropping back to orange, or Level 2, on July 23, where it remained until Thursday.

At Level 3, residents are asked to limit activities as much as possible, decrease in-person interactions with others, consider necessary travel only and limit attending gatherings of any number.

If a county reaches Level 3, it stays there until it drops below the high incidence threshold of over 100 cases per 100,000 over a two-week period.

The transition to red previously triggered mandatory face coverings while in public, but all Ohio residents are now required to wear face coverings in public after the state enacted a statewide mask mandate requiring facial coverings in any indoor location that is not a residence; when outdoors and not able to consistently maintain 6 feet of distance from those who are not members of the same household; and while waiting for, riding, driving or operating public transportation, a taxi, private car service or ride-sharing vehicle.

Both Akron and Summit County Public Health have also enacted mask orders, as officials have said they want multiple layers of orders in case one is rescinded to ensure people are still required to wear masks during the coronavirus pandemic.