Two Tri-State counties at red alert level for COVID-19

Gov. DeWine gives update on COVID-19 crisis

COLUMBUS, Ohio (FOX19) - Clermont and Brown counties are at the Red Alert Level according to the Ohio Public Advisory Health System.

A Red Alert Level 3 Public Emergency means that the counties have very high exposure and spread of COVID-19.

This is Clermont County’s second time in the red but its the first time for Brown County.

Gov. Mike DeWine says Clermont County has had 101 cases of COVID-19 in the last seven days. The governor says cases were decreasing in July but the virus has been increasing through community spread.

According to the Ohio Department of Health, Ohio has 105,426 positive COVID-19 cases and 3,755 deaths.

Of the total number of positive cases, 8,642 are presumed to have recovered.

In addition to the update about COVID-19 spread, the governor released the final report from the Minority Health Strike Force.

The group was formed in April to help examine the impact of the virus within minority groups.

The report says that African Americans represent 14% of Ohio’s population but are 24% of the positive COVID-19 cases, 32% of the hospitalizations, and 19% of deaths in the state.

At least 6% of those who have tested positive for COVID-19 are Latino, the report says, despite only representing 3.9% of Ohio’s population.

The Strike Force created a blueprint that lists 34 ways to help dismantle racism, removing public health obstacles, improving the social/economic and physical environments, and strengthening data collection to better track disparities.

The governor also announced a new group that will continue to work to dismantle racism and promote health equity in the state.

“We are committed to solutions, because as I have stated before, racism is a public health crisis. Each of us has a responsibility to be mindful of and work to counteract racial and other disparities that hold Ohioans back from reaching their full God-given potential,” DeWine said. “I will not shy away from addressing these long-entrenched inequalities among our fellow Ohio citizens. Fortunately, we have many great partners in this mission, and we are grateful to the individuals and organizations that provided feedback to the strike force and who have worked with my administration on this issue.”

On the sports front, Dr. Curt Daniels of Ohio State University and Nationwide Kids talked about the relationship between the heart and athletes diagnosed with the novel coronavirus.

He said that Ohio State researchers have discovered, based upon data from hospitalized patients, 10 to 13% of athletes who tested positive for the virus have experienced inflammation in the heart or myocarditis.

Dr. Daniels says patients should rest and gradually increase activity. The patient's provider will determine clearance.

DeWine says he wants there to be high school sports in the fall and that a formal announcement will come on Aug. 18.

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