Cuyahoga Co. medical director fears community will become complacent as new cases slow

Cuyahoga County Board of Health Medical Director Dr. Heidi Gullett.
Posted at 10:58 AM, Apr 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-14 10:58:21-04

CUYAHOGA COUNTY, Ohio — While the number of new cases gradually decreases from the previous day, CCBH medical director Dr. Heidi Gullett wants to tell the community they should not let up on the ongoing efforts to practice social distancing, wear masks while out in public and avoid congregating in large groups.

“And am I concerned that people will become complacent? Indeed I am. And that's why my messaging today is that we cannot let off. We have made a lot of progress. We really have. And we thank you all so much for making the sacrifices you have to stay home,” Gullett said.

In an update on daily confirmed coronavirus cases, the board of health confirmed there are 845 lab confirmed cases and 25 deaths, with the onset date of illness beginning on Feb. 29 to April 8. That's an increase of 99 cases and 5 deaths since Friday’s report.

We have continued spread of the virus when people are having symptoms developing within the past week," Gullett said. "We know more new transmission is happening, which is really important to understand where we are in this for a community.”

The number of the confirmed cases doesn’t reflect the number of people who may have the virus, Gullett said.

“It doesn't mean that we don't have a high degree of spread right now," she said. "We do. We're still seeing new cases. So,all those new cases have the potential to infect many, many, many other people. And if they don't isolate, it will be that many more people. So please don't stop. Please don't take this as we can pull back now.”

When asked if there is as much COVID-19 in the community as there was two weeks ago, Gullett said it comes back to the availability of testing in the community.

"We still have a large number of people who were reporting symptoms who cannot get tested," Gullett said. "So, again, I'm reporting to you lab confirmed cases. But we still have quite a few people in that community who are reporting symptoms and they're appropriately staying at home. They're not sick enough to be in the hospital. So we also know that there is a lot of infection still happening."

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