As cases of COVID-19 continue to increase in Franklin County and throughout the state, Columbus and Franklin County public well being companies issued indoor masks advisories Friday, urging residents to put on masks indoors and in crowded locations.
Columbus Public Well being mentioned in a information launch that it enacted the advisory as a result of Franklin County is now listed as a excessive stage of transmission on the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention’s newest COVID-19 data tracker.
Nonetheless, it’s not a masks mandate, which Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther dropped in March.
“Defending ourselves and our neighborhood from COVID-19 takes a multi-layered strategy” Columbus Well being Commissioner Dr. Mysheika Roberts mentioned within the launch.
“The easiest way to guard your self and your family members from hospitalization and loss of life from COVID-19 is to get vaccinated and boosted. Sporting a masks and testing in the event you’re sick additionally will assist decelerate the unfold,” Roberts mentioned.
As a result of Worthington is roofed by Columbus Public Well being, the masks advisory can be in place for that metropolis.
Columbus Public Well being’s strategy was echoed in an advisory assertion issued by Franklin County Public Well being.
“Circumstances and hospitalizations in Franklin County are spiking due to the highly-contagious Omicron BA.5 variant,” the county well being company mentioned in a launch. “As a result of Franklin County is on the highest neighborhood stage (on the CDC map), it is crucial that everybody takes precautions.”
The company recommends staying house in the event you check optimistic and contacting your healthcare supplier to ask in the event you ought to take an antiviral. Further precautions could also be wanted for individuals at excessive threat for extreme sickness.
For employers, Franklin County Public Well being suggests requiring masks in locations of enterprise, encouraging employees not feeling properly to remain house, and ordering a small enterprise useful resource package. The kits could be discovered at vax2normal.org/resources-for-businesses/.
The CDC neighborhood transmission stage for Franklin County is excessive primarily based on the countywide case fee and hospital metrics.
The case fee in Franklin County is now 214 per 100,000, in response to the Columbus Public Well being launch. New hospital admissions have been 10.7 per 100,000 with 3.7% of sufferers in staffed inpatient beds confirmed with COVID-19.
As of Monday, the positivity fee in Franklin County was 19.8%.
Different central Ohio counties which can be seeing excessive neighborhood ranges of transmission embody Marion, Pickaway and Union counties. Group ranges stay at a medium stage for Delaware, Fairfield, Licking and Madison counties.
Different main cities within the state which can be seeing excessive transmission ranges embody Dayton and Cincinnati. Ranges within the Cleveland, Akron and Toledo areas are at medium.
The information of the advisory comes as 26,610 COVID-19 cases were reported in Ohio prior to now week. In distinction, the state was seeing simply 1000’s of circumstances in late March and hovered above 10,000 at first of Might. These numbers are more than likely to be larger attributable to at-home checks not being recorded.
Nearly half of all new reported COVID-19 cases in Ohio in recent weeks came from the BA.5 variant, in response to state well being division knowledge, because the U.S. enters one other wave of the pandemic.
The CDC has various suggestions which can be triggered by an upgrade to high level of transmission. They embody:
Put on a well-fitting masks indoors in public, no matter vaccination standing (together with in Ok-12 colleges and different indoor neighborhood settings).
If you’re immunocompromised or excessive threat for extreme illness: Put on a masks or respirator that gives you with better safety; contemplate avoiding non-essential indoor actions in public the place you would be uncovered; speak to your healthcare supplier about whether or not it is advisable take different precautions; have a plan for fast testing if wanted; speak to your healthcare supplier about whether or not you’re a candidate for remedies like oral antivirals, PrEP, and monoclonal antibodies.
When you’ve got family or social contact with somebody at excessive threat for extreme illness: Think about self-testing to detect an infection earlier than contact; contemplate carrying a masks when indoors with them.
Keep updated with COVID-19 vaccines and boosters.
Preserve improved air flow all through indoor areas when attainable.
Comply with CDC suggestions for isolation and quarantine, together with getting examined in case you are uncovered to COVID-19 or have signs of COVID-19.
Micah Walker is the Dispatch trending reporter. Attain her at [email protected] or 740-251-7199. Comply with her on Twitter @micah_walker701.
This text initially appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Mask advisory issued in Franklin County as COVID cases increase