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COVID-19 cases drop for second week in Ohio

COLUMBUS — Ohio’s COVID-19 case average dropped for the past week.

Cases dipped to a new average of 156 per 100,000 people as of Wednesday, down from 187 per 100,000 last week.

This marks two weeks of decline, following an upward trend at the beginning of April.

Overall, cases are down from a high of about 900 per 100,000 people on New Year’s Day.

Gov. Mike DeWine has said that health orders, such as mask mandates, would be lifted if cases drop to 50 per 100,000 people.

“We’ll have to see, but we seem to be moving in the right direction,” DeWine said of the new decline in cases, which he and Ohio Department of Health director Bruce Vanderhoff attributed to the distribution of vaccinations in the state.

While DeWine has said he has considered changing the 50 cases per 100,000 goal, he said he believes this can still be achieved.

More counties moved from Red Level Three to Orange Level Two in the latest update of the Ohio Department of Health’s COVID-19 alert map, while Franklin County, the one county that was listed at Purple Level Four, the most severe designation on the list, was downgraded to Red Level Three.

Locally, there was no change in the listings from last week, with Lawrence, Scioto and Jackson counties listed at Orange Level Two, while Gallia was at the lowest alert of Yellow Level One.

The system, compiled by the Ohio Department of Health, is determined by seven data indicators — New cases per capita, sustained increase in new cases, proportion of cases not congregate cases, sustained increase in emergency room visits, sustained increase in outpatient visits and sustained increase in new COVID-19 hospital admissions — that identify the risk level for each county and a corresponding color code to represent that risk level.