CLEVELAND — As COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to reach record highs in the state, hospitals in Northeast Ohio released a joint statement to stress the seriousness of the pandemic and remind the public how they can help.
The letter, sent from the Cleveland Clinic, The Center for Health Affairs, MetroHealth Medical Center, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, St. Vincent Charity Medical Center, Summa Health and the VA Northeast Ohio Healthcare System, addressed the people of Northeast Ohio.
“While our teams stand ready to care for you in the event you contract COVID-19, we are asking for your help,” the letter stated.
The hospitals are working together to develop treatment options and continue to study potential vaccines, but doctors warn these combined efforts will not stop the spread of COVID-19, so they're asking citizens to do their part.
The hospitals offered steps everyone can take to prevent illness and to protect others:
- Protective Masking – Mask up, covering your nose, mouth and chin with a mask when you are around others.
- Physical Distancing – Avoid large crowds and maintain six feet between yourself and people who do not live in your household.
- Frequent Hand-Washing – Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that meets CDC guidelines. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Monitor Your Health and Exposures – Pay attention to your symptoms. If you have any of the below symptoms or you think you’ve been exposed, stay home and call your doctor for guidance on testing and care. Symptoms include fever or feeling feverish (chills, sweating), fatigue (feeling tired all the time), muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of smell or taste, sore throat, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.
"We care about the health and safety of our Northeast Ohio community," the letter says. "Please continue to protect yourself and others during this global pandemic. We are Northeast Ohio and we are stronger together!"
Read the full letter here.