Loveland, Ohio – Mike Samet the Public Information Officer for Hamilton County Public Health told Loveland Magazine on Friday, “As a ‘red’ county, most of our “indicators” are trending upward, hence the potential designation as ‘purple.”

The message to county residents is a simple one said Samet in response to the question of how does Hamilton County avert escalating to Level 4. “The one we’ve been talking about since February. Until we have a vaccine and/or treatment for COVID-19, the only way to slow down transmission is: physical distance (6 ft. plus); wear a mask when out; stay home if you are ill; wash hands often and thoroughly; cover coughs/sneezes.”

Samet added, “Wearing a mask is not a political statement. The mask shows care and respect for others in that we’re trying to reduce their risk of infection, as well as ours. It’s summer, it’s hot, no one likes wearing a mask, but it’s what we have to do to protect each other.”

Samet said that from an enforcement perspective, as a county agency, the Health Department is not able to issue citations. “Nobody wants to be the mask police. This is education over enforcement, he said.  Samet added that he wants people to understand why masks are important now, not punish them for non-compliance. “In any event, our enforcement system is complaint-driven. People may register complaints with us at www.hcph.org. We follow-up on each complaint received,” said Samet. Read how to file a complaint in Clermont County below.

Both Hamilton and Clermont counties are currently under the State RED Alert for COVID 19 spread. Clermont County was elevated from ORANGE to RED last Thursday. Warren County remains in the ORANGE Alert designation.

What does it mean if Hamilton County goes to the highest Alert level?

Hamilton County is on the State Watch list to possibly be elevated from the current RED Level Alert to the highest, PURPLE Level Alert. That destination would mean that the county is experiencing “Severe exposure and spread.” The order from the state would be, “Only leave home for supplies and services and Stay at home/necessary travel only.”

Why was Hamilton County put under a RED Alert?

As of July 7, Hamilton County during the 3 weeks prior had COVID 19 cases increase along with several other healthcare indicators.

Between June 24 and June 30, Hamilton County had 1,124 cases, the largest number of COVID 19 cases in any week since the beginning of the pandemic.

From June 16 until June 30, the average new cases per day doubled from 82 to 161. Due to clinical and reporting lags, these numbers may continue to grow for this reporting period.

The community continued to experience early signs that more people are seeking medical care for COVID 19 symptoms.

From June 16 to June 30, visits for COVID 19 to the emergency department doubled from an average of 11 per day to 22. More people are also visiting their doctors and being diagnosed with COVID 19.

Between June 16 and July 2, the average outpatient visits more than tripled from 52 to 172 visits per day.

In recent weeks, more than 86% of the cases are not in congregate settings, signaling significant transmission in the broader community.

Hamilton County also hit a new threshold for the overall utilization rate for regional intensive care unit beds, which exceeded 80% during 5 of those past 7 days.

Why was Clermont County put under a RED Alert?

As of July 7, Clermont County during the 3 weeks prior had COVID 19 cases increase along with several other healthcare indicators.

From June 16 until June 30, the average new cases per day doubled from 4 to 9. Due to clinical and reporting lags, these numbers may continue to grow for this reporting period.

The community continued to experience early signs that more people are seeking medical care for COVID 19 symptoms.

More people are also visiting their doctors and being diagnosed with COVID 19.

Between June 16 and July 2, the average outpatient visits nearly tripled from 9 to 25 visits per day.

In recent weeks, more than 94% of the cases are not in congregate settings, signaling significant transmission in the broader community.

Clermont County also hit a new threshold for the overall utilization rate for regional intensive care unit beds, which exceeded 80% during 5 of those past 7 days.

LEVEL 1   0–1 Indicators Triggered

Active exposure and spread. Follow all current health orders.

LEVEL 2   2–3 Indicators Triggered

Increased exposure and spread. Exercise high degree of caution. Follow all current health orders.

LEVEL 3   4–5 Indicators Triggered

Very high exposure and spread. Limit activities as much as possible. Follow all current health orders.

LEVEL 4   6–7 Indicators Triggered

Severe exposure and spread. Only leave home for supplies and services. Follow all current health orders.

Summary of Alert Indicators


As of today, Monday, July 13:

The number of hospitalizations in Ohio is 8,842. Total Deaths in Ohio is 3,058.

There are 462 hospitalizations and 131 deaths in Hamilton County. There have been 3,657 cases and 1,154 recoveries.

There have been 497 confirmed and probable cases of COVID 19 in Clermont County and 7 confirmed and probable death. There are currently 60 hospitalizations. 341 people are being reported as recovered.

In Warren County there have been 945 positive and probable cases and 25 positive and probable deaths. Warren County is reporting 120 new positive cases, 5 new hospitalizations, and 3 new deaths in the last 14 days.


Clermont County Public Health has issued these 5 Protocols for All Businesses and these Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

1. Require face coverings for employers and recommend them for clients/customers at all times.

2. Conduct daily health assessments by employers and employees (self-evaluation) to determine if “fit-for-duty”.

3. Maintain good hygiene at all times -hand washing, sanitizing, and social distancing.

4. Clean and sanitize workplaces throughout the workday and at the close of business or between shifts.

5. Limit capacity to meet social distancing guidelines.

•Establish maximum capacity at 50% of the fire code.
• And, use appointment setting where possible to limit congestion.

Q. Will I have to wear a mask or face covering while I am at work?
A. Yes. Face coverings are required for employees except if any of the following apply:

  1. Facial coverings in the work setting are prohibited by law or regulation;

  2. Facial coverings are in violation of documented industry standards;

  3. Facial coverings are not advisable for health reasons;

  4. Facial coverings are in violation of the business’ documented safety policies;

  5. Facial coverings are not required when the employee works alone in an assigned work area; or There is a functional (practical) reason for an employee not to wear a facial covering in the workplace.

Q. Will I have to wear a mask or face covering if I am a customer at a business?
A. Yes. Under the level 3 Public Health Emergency issued on July 10, customers must wear masks while inside businesses or other buildings.

Q. Will I need to take my temperature before coming to work?
A. Yes. Employees must take their temperature and watch for other symptoms such as coughing or difficulty breathing. Sick employees should stay at home.

Q. What safety precautions should my employer be taking?
A. All businesses should follow these protocols

1. Require face coverings for employers and customers.

2. Conduct daily health assessments by employers and employees (self-evaluation) to determine if “fit-for-duty”.

3. Maintain good hygiene at all times -hand washing, sanitizing, and social distancing.

4. Clean and sanitize workplaces throughout the workday and at the close of business or between shifts.

5. Limit capacity to meet social distancing guidelines.

•Establish maximum capacity at 50% of the fire code.
• And, use appointment setting where possible to limit congestion.

Q. What should I do if my co-workers aren’t wearing facial coverings at work?
A. If an employee of a business is not wearing a facial covering, ask the employer/business for written justification on why the employee isn’t wearing a face covering.

Q. What should I do if my employer is not following proper safety precautions?
A. If an employer is not following the above safety protocols, you can file an online complaint here.

To File a complaint about a business you think is in violation of the Stay Safe Ohio Order, click here.

To check the status of a complaint click here. (Choose “Code Case” in the search drop-down box).

Full Ohio Department of Health Stay Safe Ohio Order 

More information from the Ohio Department of Health on the Responsible RestartOhio page

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