ATHENS, Ohio — Ohio University announced Friday it will reinstate its indoor mask mandate starting Monday, Aug. 1 amid rising COVID-19 cases.

The university wrote the decision was based off of updated data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which shows Athens County has a high rate of COVID-19 spread. Everyone is required to wear a mask inside any public space on university grounds.

On Thursday, the Ohio Department of Health reported more than 28,000 new COVID-19 cases in the last week, which up nearly 3,000 from the week before. Six weeks ago, the weekly number of new cases stood around 16,000. The average is about 4,268 news cases a week in Ohio.

The CDC's COVID-19 tracking map bases spread on three levels: Low (green), medium (yellow) and high (orange). Only nine counties in Ohio remain in the green, and the lower half of the state is mostly in the orange. 

Areas in high levels of transmission are recommended to wear a mask and social distance.