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Decisions on summer activities will be made on case-by-case basis, Cuyahoga Co. health officials say

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Posted at 4:35 PM, Apr 21, 2020

CLEVELAND — With some activities in Ohio set to resume May 1, Cuyahoga County health officials said Tuesday they're still working with cities to determine which summertime activities can go on as planned.

"We get a lot of questions about what will happen with warm weather, issues around what will happen this summer and if it is still a risk" said Health Commissioner Terry Allan. "The answer is we do not know. This virus has never been in the summertime here in our community."

Allan said the board of health is working with the state and other partners to determine whether it will be safe to re-open public pools, summer camps, and youth sports this summer if proper precautions can be used.

"Some of that may mean some events can take place because we can assure that physical distance is taking place, but we may have to be a lot more protective about crowds gathering to watch," said Allan.

He said, in many instances, decisions will have to be made on a case-by-case basis.

"I think some sports are solitary, some are done in congregate-type settings and we're going to have to look at each of those sports to make a determination of what is the most-effective way to re-introduce those activities."

Health officials stress, even though the number of COVID-19 cases has plateaued in Cuyahoga County, precautions such as social distancing, avoid large gatherings of people, and wearing masks in public is likely to continue even after some activities resume.

"We certainly can't flip a switch, that will certainly lead to more infections and more deaths," said Cuyahoga County Board of Health's Medical Director Dr. Heidi Gullett.

Instead, health officials said determinations about the kinds of activities allowed will likely evolve as new clusters of infection arise in the community.

"I don't expect it to be perfect," said Allan. "I expect us to have some challenges as we work through this and learn and watch the dashboard of infection related to cases."