CLEVELAND — During a press conference Friday, the Cuyahoga County Board of Health announced it will not be extending its stay-at-home advisory that expired on Jan. 31 and will instead rely on citizens to follow suggestions about reducing the spread of COVID-19.
Under the stay-at-home advisory that has continued to be extended, residents were advised to only leave their 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 were also asked to avoid traveling in and out of the State of Ohio and to forgo having guests in their homes or residences during the upcoming holiday.
Cuyahoga County Board of Health Commissioner Terry Allan said that they had been receiving calls asking about how long the next extension was expected to be, but the board felt sticking to the recommendations rather than one to two week extensions was the best route to take.
“We just want to as a default highly recommend that people continue to follow what’s been working and didn’t feel that the one to two week extensions, watching to see what was happening with the governor’s curfew—we know that the governor is considering some different things with the curfew as well—that it made sense to just reinforce the need that it be a default position to follow these recommendations rather than a one or two week extension on the guidance that we think applies and will continue to apply going forward,” Allan said.
While there will not be an extension to the order, the CCBH stressed the importance of following COVID-19 recommendations, such as mask wearing, social distancing, quarantining, hand washing and others, as there is still a high number of cases in the area.
“I know that some people are thinking ‘well, we’re moving in the vaccination phase,’ but we want to make sure that they understand that they continue to follow this guidance because we want to concentrate on vaccinating and concentrating on what’s working from a vigilant standpoint so that was our rational,” Allan said.
The ideology behind continuing the same methods of COVID-19 mitigation is, as Allan described it, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
“We want [citizens] to continue doing what’s been working. Our numbers are dropping,” Allan said. “I think our progress should be motivation for us to continue. Accommodation of these tried and true prevention measures, with vaccinations, is our ticket out, and that’s what we want to encourage people to do.”