ASHLAND -- The number of COVID-19 cases in Ashland County has decreased slightly in recent weeks, but the county remains classified as "red" in the Ohio Public Health Advisory System and ranked among the top 20 counties with the highest occurrence of the virus in Thursday's update.
Ashland County ranked 17th in a list of 20 Ohio counties with the most cases per 100,000 residents. According to the Ohio Department of Health, Ashland County recorded 406 cases of COVID-19, or 759.11 per 100,000 residents, in the past two weeks.
The county triggered two of the seven indicators in the state's color-coded system, a statewide measure launched in July to monitor virus spread in all 88 counties. It remains red because of the high incidence of COVID-19.
The indicators triggered Thursday were for new cases per capita and the proportion of cases not in a congregate setting. The same indicators were met in last week's update.
This week's 406 new cases in the past two weeks (759.11 per 100,000 residents) compares to last week's 439 new cases in the prior two week span (820.81 per 100,000 residents).
Cases over a two-week span peaked at 473 (883.38 per 100,000 residents) in the state's Dec. 17 report.
The indicator for new cases per capita is flagged if there's greater than 50 cases per 100,000 residents over the last two weeks.
However, under CDC standards, any county with more than 100 new cases per capita in a two-week period is considered "high incidence" for virus spread. Regardless of the number of indicators met, a county remains "red," or level three, in the OPHAS until it falls below that CDC standard.
At least 75 percent of COVID-19 cases were in non-congregate settings over the past three weeks, according to Thursday's update of the Ohio Public Health Advisory System.
This indicator is flagged if proportion of cases that are not in a congregate setting goes over 50 percent in at least one of the last three weeks.
Richland, Knox and Crawford counties each triggered two indicators on Thursday, all remaining red due to high incidence.
Richland Source Reporter Carl Hunnell contributed to this report.