During a COVID-19 press conference on Tuesday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine released more information on the basic reproduction number or R0 (pronounced “R naught”) for Ohio as divided into eight regions.
“The R0 represents the number of people, on average, that a person will spread a disease to,” according to the governor’s office. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate COVID-19’s R0, without interventions, to be 2.5.” (Although the governor indicated on Tuesday that at its highest rate Ohio was approaching 3 people that the disease was being spread to on average by one person.)
Some of the R0 numbers released on Tuesday were higher than the June 1 numbers released last week. This includes Regions 7 and 8 (Pike County is in Region 7), which rose from having the lowest R0 in the state at 0.62 as of June 1 to 1.0 by June 7. The governor stated on June 11 that some places in Regions 7 and 8 are seeing an increase in cases. Region 6, which neighbors Region 7 to the west, is also at a 1.0 as of June 7.
The R0 for the state as a whole measured at 0.87 on June 7.
“The Department of Health’s data team keeps track of this number and a lot of other data as well,” DeWine stated on Tuesday. “If the R0 increases above 1 that tells us that we should look more closely at that particular area of the state to figure out what is happening that is causing the increase. This, combined with other data, helps us to determine if we need to work more on containing the spread of the disease in a particular area ... Again, these are snapshots on a given date ... Again, to keep these numbers where we would like to see them, we just urge everyone to continue to wear masks, continue to social distance and just be careful as we are opening the economy in Ohio.”
Recent Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton, M.D., MPH, indicated last week that the R0 is one indicator related to COVID-19 and that they are looking at almost 30 measures related to the disease. Dr. Acton is now Governor DeWine’s chief health advisor.
As of Tuesday, June 16, the Ohio Department of Health was reporting a total of 42,010 cases of COVID-19 in Ohio, including 38,911 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 3,099 probable COVID-19 cases according to the CDC expanded case definition. As of June 16, the state was reporting 2,597 total deaths from COVID-19, including 2,362 confirmed COVID-19 deaths and 235 probable COVID-19 deaths according to the CDC expanded death definition.
Full videos of DeWine’s press conferences each day can be found on the Ohio Channel website at http://www.ohiochannel.org/collections/governor-mike-dewine?collections=109410&dir=DESC&keywords=Search+Collection&pageSize=12&sort=BestMatch&start=1
For more information on Ohio’s response to COVID-19, including tips for prevention of the disease and slowing its spread, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.
More detailed information on the Responsible RestartOhio plan can be found at www.coronavirus.ohio.gov/ResponsibleRestartOhio