Ohio stopped releasing a weekly COVID-19 travel advisory map this week, with state health officials advising Ohioans to check the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance when making plans.
The map was first released last summer and was based on state coronavirus test positivity rates. Travelers to Ohio from states with a rate of 15% or higher were advised to quarantine for 14 days. The recommendation was not mandatory nor was it enforced.
In early December, climbing test positivity rates placed Ohio on its own map. The seven-day average positivity rate was 3.1% on Monday, the most recent day that information is available.
Five states would have likely been on the map this week, according to the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 dashboard: Iowa, Alabama, Idaho, Missouri and Kansas.
Other states, including New York and Maryland, have relaxed their travel policies in recent weeks as cases and hospitalizations have sharply declined and more people have received a coronavirus vaccine.
The CDC currently advises that travel be avoided as “cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are extremely high across the United States.” That advice also holds for people who have been vaccinated against the coronavirus. The CDC guidance also asks travelers to consider whether someone in their household or who they’re visiting are at greater risk of COVID-19 complications and the level of exposure they’ve had before leaving home.
The Ohio Department of Health, in a news release announcing the change, advised travelers should still “practice appropriate public health measures to slow the spread of COVID-19, such as wearing masks, practicing physical distancing, and washing your hands.”