Franklin, other central Ohio counties fall to orange on the CDC COVID-19 map
Franklin, other central Ohio counties fall to orange on the CDC COVID-19 map

Franklin, other central Ohio counties fall to orange on the CDC COVID-19 map

Columbus one step closer to the lifting mask mandate

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Franklin County dropped from the highest level of COVID-19 transmission at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shortly Wednesday, pushing Columbus one step closer to lifting its mask mandate.

Municipal and county health authorities say they keep a close eye on the CDC’s daily updated maps, as Franklin County’s color will determine when Columbus leaders lift the city’s mask requirements.

The card indicates the severity of the spread of coronavirus in all U.S. counties. Two measurements over the past seven days determine a county’s status: new COVID-19 cases per. 100,000 inhabitants and the percentage of NAAT tests (PCR inoculation samples) that came back positive.

The four levels go from blue (lowest) to yellow to orange to red (highest). If one indicator is higher than the other, the higher level is selected:

The table above shows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention color code for COVID-19 transmission in U.S. counties. If one indicator is higher than the other, the higher level is selected. (Screenshot / covid.cdc.gov)

Franklin County fell from red to orange on Wednesday as new coronavirus cases dropped to a “significant” level of 96.3 per cent. 100,000 inhabitants over the past week, according to map data. The test positivity is already at the yellow (“moderate”) level, now at 5.74% from Wednesday.

When both indicators are yellow at worst, Franklin County will generally turn yellow. That is when Columbus Public Health has said it would recommend that the city mask mandate be lifted.

Mayor Andrew Ginther said last week he thinks it will only be “weeks” before the mandate is lifted.

“Our collective efforts to control the spread of the virus have worked,” the mayor said, “and we look forward to raising the mask requirements in the near future.”

The adjoining Delaware and Fairfield counties also dropped from red to orange on Wednesday. Delaware sees 91.79 cases per year. 100,000 and a test positivity of 6.92%, while Fairfield is at 92.02 per. 100,000 and 6.12%.

Three of the other four counties bordering Franklin are close to turning orange, as Pickaway, Licking and Madison have orange test positivity of 7.26%, 7.33% and 9.52%, respectively.

Licking and Madison are closest to becoming orange combined with case frequencies of 115.34 and 116.25 per. 100,000. Pickaway is at 148.83 cases per. 100,000.

Union County is still red on both indicators with 12.54% test positivity and 228.86 cases per year. 100,000 in the last week.

Ohio’s improvements to the CDC card generally follow region by region orbit in declining cases since the January peak in the state’s omicron variant wave.

The variant first took hold in northern Ohio – particularly the Cleveland and Akron areas – and came south to central Ohio and then southern Ohio.

Before Wednesday, all counties in central Ohio were red, and much of northeast Ohio was orange. Now the central and western regions see spots of orange, including population centers other than Franklin County such as Hamilton (Cincinnati), Montgomery (Dayton) and Hancock (Findlay) counties.

Eight counties have already turned yellow, all in northern Ohio and even including the highly populated Summit County (Akron). Just a day ago, only Holmes County, just south of Wooster, was yellow.

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