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Local summer arts camp still requiring masks, social distancing as COVID cases begin to trend back up

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Posted at 6:40 PM, Jul 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-19 19:40:20-04

LAKEWOOD, Ohio — At the Beck Center for the Arts in Lakewood, things are kind of back to normal with summer arts camps back in swing, but COVID precautions still remain intact.

"I know from personal experience, dancing and singing with my students can be more difficult with a mask,” said Sarah Clare of the Beck Center. “It gets a little warmer, it gets a bit more tiring, but we do know it is the pros and cons of trying to keep everyone safe."

The center requires everyone to wear a mask; it is also social distancing all classes.

Beck Center staff said about 70% of students are 12 or younger, meaning they can’t get vaccinated yet.

“We recently did a few shows where our students had to be social distanced for the entire production, and trying to get 40-something kids on stage completely separated is nearly impossible, but it’s worth it to me, it’s worth it to protect our kids," Clare said. "I don’t want anything happening to our kids."

Generally, vaccination rates in Northeast Ohio still aren’t at the level of herd immunity. Cuyahoga and Summit County both sit just above 50%, and Holmes county is at just 15%.

While cases are down significantly compared to this time last year, in Summit County, the cases per 100,000 metric increased from 8 to 12 in the past 14 days.

“It’s far more dangerous for the unvaccinated Ohioans," said Summit County Health Commissioner Donna Skoda. “That, unfortunately, is the group that is experiencing the illness, related death, and hospitalizations because of COVID."

Skoda explains the proof is in the numbers; Ohioans need to get vaccinated to stay safe and protect people, like kids who can’t get vaccinated.

“The most important thing you can do right now is get vaccinated to protect yourself and others,” said Skoda. “It really does stop the spread, we would very much like to get COVID behind us."

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