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MANSFIELD -- Richland County remained "red," or level three, Thursday afternoon in the state's color-coded COVID-19 Public Health Advisory System.

The county triggered five of the system's seven indicators, one less than last week, when it earned a spot on the state's "watch list" for level four.

There had been concerns the county would become "purple," or level four, this week, which may have resulted in "stay at home" recommendations.

However, during his press conference, DeWine said the color-coded system is not tied to state orders.

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"It's the best advice the health experts can give, but it's just advice. We are not tying anything to the colors. They are there just to inform," DeWine said.

Richland County has seen 121 new positive COVID-19 cases over the last two weeks. It's one of 18 "red" counties in the state this week.


City editor. 30-year plus journalist. Husband. Father of 3 grown sons and also a proud grandpa. Prior military journalist in U.S. Navy, Ohio Air National Guard. -- Favorite quote: "Where were you when the page was blank?"