CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - As of Thursday, the Department of Health said 4,983 Ohioans have died from the coronavirus with at least 164,262 cases reported statewide since the start of the pandemic.
As he does each Thursday, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine updated the state’s latest color-coded coronavirus threat level advisory system.
Eighteen counties are now considered as “Red Alert Level 3,” including several new additions in Northeast Ohio.
The governor said on Thursday that an increasing number of COVID-19 cases are stemming from crowded events and close gatherings, including weddings and funerals.
Portage County returned to red this week as cases continue to be transmitted from Kent State University students into the community.
Outbreaks in Mahoning County are associated with a wedding, including at least 18 cases that have now spread into the community, as well as infections stemming from funerals, group homes, and birthday parties.
Gov. DeWine said infections in Trumbull County spiked following an outbreak in a school sports team, impacting student-athletes, coaches, and other children.
“To live with the virus, we need to adjust our routines,” Gov. DeWine said. “That may mean reconsidering attending a crowded event or going to a party.”
“As of this week, 96% of us are living in a red or orange county,” the governor added. “That’s 26% in our 18 red counties and 70% in our orange counties. Only 4% of Ohioans are in the 12 yellow counties.”
An additional 9,516 cases and 309 deaths are presumed to be linked to COVID-19 under the CDC expanded definitions and included in the Ohio Department of Health’s reporting.
Out of the 16,200 hospitalizations reported on Thursday, at least 3,395 individuals were admitted to intensive care units.