Hamilton Co. discusses $142M in CARES Act funding

Hamilton Co. discusses $142M in CARES Act funding

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Hamilton county officials gave an update on how the county is spending $142 million in CARES Act funding.

Assistant County Administrator Holly Christmann reports that more than 700 renters have received assistance, 217 small businesses (with 451 more in process) have received assistance, and 63 nonprofits have received $4.9 million in funding.

Health Commissioner Greg Kesterman gave a breakdown of the coronavirus numbers in the county.

He noted the county’s reproductive rate went from 1.33 from around one.

"We need to not let our guard down. We need to stay vigilant,” Kesterman said.

According to the Ohio Department of Health, there are 14,907 cases and 337 deaths.

That’s an increase of 954 cases since last week.

“We are at another crossroads. Cases are increasing again,” Commissioner Denise Driehaus said.

Kesterman is encouraging Ohioans to continue to wear masks, stay home if you feel sick, wash hands and social distance.

Last week, he said cases were on the uptick with 80 to 100 new cases daily on average which pushed the county back into the red.

Kesterman predicts the county could remain on the red alert level for another two weeks with the average number of new cases remaining more than 100 per 100,000.

You can find free, walk-up COVID-19 testing sites at the Test and Protect website.

The county ratings are based on seven indicators:

  • New cases - 50 new cases per cases 100,000 residents over the last two weeks.
  • Increase in new cases - Increase in cases for five straight days.
  • Non-congregate living cases - At least 50% of the new cases in one of the last three weeks have occurred in outside congregate living spaces such as nursing homes and prisons.
  • Emergency rooms - Increase in visits for COVID-like symptoms or a diagnosis for five straight days.
  • Doctor visits - Increase in out-patient visits resulting in confirmed cases or suspected diagnosis for COVID-19 for five straight days.
  • Hospitalizations - Increase in new COVID-19 patients for five straight days.
  • Intensive Care Unit occupancy - Alert triggered when ICU occupancy in a region exceeds 80% of total ICU beds and at least 20% of the beds are being used for coronavirus patients for at least three days.

Hamilton County was last in the red on July 30.

For a county to be placed on an alert level, meeting none or one of the criteria places a county on Level 1 yellow; two or three on Level 2 orange; four or five on Level 3 red; and six or seven on Level 4 purple.

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