HAMILTON COUNTY, Ohio — The Hamilton County board of commissioners declared a county-wide state of emergency as a result of rising COVID-19 cases in the region.
The emergency declaration states that, as of Jan. 10, Hamilton County has a high level of community-based transmission of the virus, resulting in a 25.25% positivity rate. When businesses were shut down for COVID in 2020, getting below a 5% positivity was a barometer for reopening.
The CDC reported that Hamilton County had a 7-day average of 1,659 new cases per 100K people on January 9th, which was a new high since the start of the pandemic.
Stephanie Summerow Dumas, president of the Hamilton County commissioners board requested the board to "immediately renew and declare a Public Health State of Emergency in Hamilton County," the declaration of the state of emergency reads.
The county will also resume providing regular COVID-19 briefings.
The board approved Dumas' request Tuesday during a staff meeting, determining that an emergency does exist in the region as a result of "multiple streams of information and understanding the degree of danger COVID-19 continues to present to citizens."
The board of county commissioners is also requesting the Hamilton County Emergency Management Agency activate the Hamilton County Emergency Operations Center while the state of emergency is in place, to help coordinate response efforts.
The state of emergency allows any powers or actions taken as a result of local disaster emergency plans will continue in full effect. It also allows the county administrator to "utilize all necessary resources and personnel" to respond to the COVID-19 surge. The county can also forego the competitive bidding process for purchases related to the COVID-19 emergency, for purchases between $50,000 and $100,000 and allows for delegation of some responsibilities of the board.
The state of emergency will end in 60 days unless renewed by a majority vote of the Hamilton County board of commissioners.
You can read the full declaration below: