Northeast Ohio is going from red to purple on the state's public advisory system as the cases of COVID-19 spread rapidly.
The State of Ohio now lists seven Northeast Ohio counties as "purple" or the highest alert indicator on the public health advisory system.
Lake and Lorain reached that designation last week. This week: Medina, Summit, Portage, Stark and Richland counties reached the purple coded level. Montgomery County in Southwest Ohio also has been designated as a purple county.
Cuyahoga County is one of three counties placed on the watch list for potentially tracking from red to purple status.
The public advisory system tracks not only the cases and spread of the coronavirus in a county but also the impact on the county's healthcare infrastructure.
Yesterday, the Ohio Department of Health indicated 8,921 new cases and another 82 deaths.
Doctors and nurses continue to make their case to the public to do all they can to prevent the spread of the virus. Our hospital beds and ICU units are filling up. Our healthcare workers are exhausted, and we have not seen whether Thanksgiving gatherings will drive cases higher.
Ohio reached another dubious milestone this week in the pandemic: a 15% positivity rate.
The positivity rate indicates to health officials how much COVID-19 there is in a community.
The 15-percent is a threshold that Ohio uses when it puts together its weekly travel advisory map--indicating where spread of the virus is highest.
This week, Ohio made it's own advisory list.
But, as the virus spreads, the politicization created by the pandemic also deepens. Governor DeWine faces challenges to his authority from his own party including articles of impeachment.
A group off Republicans led by State Representative John Becker of Clermont County filed 12 charges of impeachment this week claiming DeWine stepped beyond his constitutional authority closing businesses and mandating masks.
As we near the end of 2020, we are getting a clearer picture of the economic devastation created by the efforts to control the spread of the coronavirus.
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services say more than 1.5 million Ohioans or nearly 13-percent of the state's population has received some type of unemployment assistance since the pandemic began.
Those numbers are roughly split equally between those who received traditional unemployment assistance and those who received federally funded Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.