CUYAHOGA COUNTY, Ohio — The Cuyahoga County Board of Health extended the county’s Stay-At-Home Advisory until at least Jan. 15 to prepare for a possible holiday surge of the virus and its spread.
The positivity rate has remained alarmingly high in the community, according to Cuyahoga County Board of Health Commissioner Terry Allan. The rate was 22.7% from Dec 6 to Dec 12.
Cuyahoga County remains at red Level 3 on the state’s Public Health Advisory System and health officials said the county is on high alert.
In suburban Cuyahoga County, there was an average of over 760 cases a day for the most recently reported week compared to 590 a day from the previous reporting week Allan said. There have been an average of five COVID-19-related deaths a day in suburban Cuyahoga County.
Allan said that for every case there are two to three contacts, making the numbers more concerning.
Cuyahoga County is over nine times the rate of high incidence as defined by the Centers for Disease Control.
Allan said all of the data shows that the county is moving in the wrong direction regarding controlling the pandemic, which prompted the county to extend the advisory until two weeks after New Year’s Day, following the holiday season.
The Cuyahoga County Health Department will reassess the holiday impact on COVID-19 prior to the advisory expiring, by Jan. 15 and make a decision to either extend the advisory or let it expire.
"This is not over yet and now is not the time to let our guard down," Allan said.
In the previous Stay-At-Home Advisory, the county outlined the details, which are as follows:
- Residents are advised to only leave your home to go to work or school or for essential needs such as seeking medical care, purchasing essential items from a grocery store or pharmacy, picking up prepared food, or receiving deliveries.
- Residents are asked to avoid traveling out of the state and forgo having guests in their homes during the upcoming holiday season.
Adhere to current orders
All orders set forth by Gov. Mike DeWine, the Ohio Department of Health and Cuyahoga County Board of Health shall continue to be enforced and adhere to be all residents.
Advisory on indoor and outdoor meetings and social events
Any public or private gathering shall be limited to no more than 10 people. This applies to outdoor and indoor events, weddings and parties.
Residents are strongly advised not to conduct or attend any indoor gatherings with guests who are not members of their household in a home or place of residence. A virtual gathering is recommended.
Response to illness and exposure-isolation and quarantine
Residents exhibiting any signs and symptoms of COVID-19 must shelter in their place of residence. They shall not go totheir workplace or congregate setting and shall only leave their place of residence to seek necessary clinical care or for essential life-sustaining needs like medicine or food.
Employers and Schools
Employers are strongly encouraged to identify and accommodate as many employees as possible to work from home during this time. All businesses and local governments are advised to transition to online format.
Cuyahoga County Board of Health reiterated that these are not orders, just an advisory that is asked to be self-enforced by residents.
"This is a little bit like the seat belts, yes there's penalties for seat belts but who gets tickets for not wearing a seat belt?" said County Executive Armond Budish. "We count on people's personal responsibility. People are intelligent. People need to do the right thing for themselves and the rest of the community. We want people to stay at home whenever they can. That's protective of them and the rest of us."