CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine says Hamilton and Butler counties are no longer on the state’s ‘Watch List'.
That means that the counties are no longer nearing Purple Alert Level 4 but the threat of COVID-19 exposure and spread remains high, according to a news release from the governor’s office.
However, Hamilton and Butler counties - along with 17 others - remain at Red Alert Level 3 which means people living in those areas are required to wear masks in public.
According to DeWine, cases in Butler County are still increasing but at a slightly slower pace than during the previous week.
In Hamilton County, health officials said the numbers may be plateauing.
“However, indicator data remains at a high level, and the number of people seeking medical care has increased two and a half times over the last three weeks,” DeWine said.
Dr. Andrew Thomas with OSU Wexner Medical Center compared the public health advisory system to a weather forecast that can indicate where the virus is spreading.
According to the Ohio Department of Health, there are 70,601 cases and 3,103 deaths.
Ohio Lt. Gov. Husted announced $20 million in grant funding through The Ohio Development Services Agency to help state manufacturers to produce PPE.
Small and medium-sized manufacturers will receive up to $500,000 to retool or expand existing facilities in Ohio, construct new facilities, purchase equipment, or upgrade technology to start producing PPE including cleaning and sanitizing products, community dividers, components for ventilators, masks, face shields, gloves, gowns, hand sanitizer, nasal swabs, surgical masks, and thermometers.
The projects are expected to create 829 new jobs and retain 1,133 existing jobs. More than half of the awards are going to small businesses with less than 25 employees, Husted said.
DeWine says there will be liquor control hearings Aug. 3 through Aug. 7 as a result of investigations into establishments accused of not following the state’s health orders.