Ohio has been added to its own travel advisory list due to a high positivity rate.
People entering Ohio or Kentucky after travel to states reporting positive testing rates of 15% or higher for COVID-19 are advised to self-quarantine for 14 days. On Wednesday, Ohio was added to its own list.
According to Ohio officials, the positivity rate is an indicator of how much COVID-19 there is in a community, and the Ohio Department of Health is recommending against travel to those states with high positivity.
“This is the first week since April where Ohio’s positivity for COVID-19 has increased above 15%. The state has seen record levels of cases, deaths, and hospitalizations in the past week, and all Ohioans can help to limit the spread and impact of this virus,” Ohio officials said in a travel advisory update. “This includes recommendations to stay at home except for necessary trips for supplies, consistent mask-wearing when around others, and frequent hand washing. Together we can help stop the spread of COVID-19.”
Ohio is on the list for both the Buckeye State and for Kentucky. Both states draw from the same Johns Hopkins University dashboard so their lists often match up.
The self-quarantine should be heeded by residents of both states and out-of-state travelers. It is intended as guidance and is not a mandate, officials said.
The following states have a rolling seven-day average above 15%, according to Johns Hopkins University as of 7 a.m. Thursday:
- Idaho: 49.00%
- Iowa: 43.42%
- South Dakota: 41.07%
- Oregon: 40.90%
- Kansas: 39.87%
- Alabama: 32.74%
- Pennsylvania: 28.95%
- Arizona: 22.95%
- Mississippi: 21.93%
- Utah: 19.60%
- Missouri: 18.69%
- Oklahoma: 16.86%
- Nevada: 16.58%
- Ohio: 15.37%
Ohio officials said Oklahoma, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming have all experienced reporting irregularities this past week.
“Given recent trends, Oregon and Wyoming is likely to have a positivity of over 15%, while Washington and Oklahoma appear to be approaching that threshold,” officials said.
Dr. Steven Stack, Kentucky’s Public Health Commissioner, also stressed that it was recommendation and not a mandate when the advisory was announced in July.
“Avoid going to these areas, if you are able,” Stack said. “If plans can’t be changed, self-quarantine after getting back to Kentucky.”
The travel advisories in Ohio and Kentucky currently apply to most of the same states. Kentucky numbers are updated daily. Ohio’s advisory is updated once a week on Wednesdays, using data from that Tuesday.
More: Ohio and Kentucky have new coronavirus restrictions; here are the differences
What to do during self-quarantine, according to health officials
- Remain at home and avoid all in-person activities. This includes work, grocery stores and pharmacies, public events, and public places.
- Do not have visitors in your home.
- If you live in a home with other people who did not travel with you, stay in a separate room. If this is not possible, wear a face mask when you are in the same room and stay at least six feet away from others.
- Do not leave home except to seek medical care. If you need to see a provider for reasons other than a medical emergency, please call in advance and discuss the care you need.
- In the event of a medical emergency, call 911. Indicate that you are in home quarantine for novel coronavirus exposure. Keep a face mask on until you are asked by a health care provider to remove it.
- Do not use public transportation, taxis or ride-booking services.
- Wash your hands and use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer often. Do not share personal items such as dishes, cups, forks, spoons and towels.
- Check yourself for fever twice a day and record it in a log or piece of paper.
- In Kentucky, contact your local health department for additional help, including arranging for food and other essential deliveries if you are in need.
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