Athens County is now at level two, or “orange” risk level for COVID-19 spread and exposure, according to the Ohio Department of Health’s Public Health Advisory System. Level two indicates a high degree of virus exposure and spread.

The county has been consistently reported at the level three, or “red” risk level since November of 2020. 

An Ohio county’s risk level is determined by a seven-indicator system. A county is at level three when four to five of the seven indicators are met. 

Athens currently meets only two of the seven indicators, placing it at level two. The county has had more than 50 cases per 100,000 people over the past two weeks and meets the state indicator’s proportion of cases that are in non-congregate settings. The Ohio Department of Health encourages level two counties to exercise a “high degree of caution.” 

The shift in the county’s risk level comes as COVID-19 vaccinations rise. Currently, just under 14% of the Athens County population has been fully vaccinated through the health department. Over 10,000 Athens residents have received the first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, while just under 9,000 are fully vaccinated. 

Since April 29, 28 cases were reported with 93 cases currently presumed active. There was one new reported death, bringing the county’s death toll to 58.