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Cuyahoga County health officials warn of COVID-19 surge if residents don't stay home

Posted: 9:20 PM, Mar 25, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-25 23:12:48-04
These states have issued stay-at-home orders to help stop spread of COVID-19

CUYAHOGA COUNTY, Ohio — Ohio is taking many of the same measures as New York to stop the spread of COVID-19, but health officials in Cuyahoga County warn it may not be enough. They’re now desperately pleading for people to do what’s right.

“We have to act now because tenure are lives in the balance,” said Cuyahoga County Health Commissioner Terry Allan. “We are at a very critical tipping point right now ,here today people need to stay home. They need to stop interacting and unknowingly and potentially transmitting COVID-19.”

Dr. Keith Armitage with University Hospitals estimates Northeast Ohio is just four to five weeks away from seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases as we’ve seen in New York.

“The virus is spreading in our community. All the hospitals in our region are starting to see critical patients,” Armitage said. “There’s no vaccine, there’s no medication. That’s the only way to combat the virus.”

Armitage says he fears our healthcare systems could soon be overwhelmed.

“We need to slow the spread quickly for the healthcare systems, ERs, the ICUs, the ventilators could be in short supply,” he said. “We have an opportunity in Ohio and in our region to avoid widespread sort of acute infections.”

They’re pleading with residents hoping they heed the warnings and stay home.

“We need your help to minimize the number of new cases so please, please, please heed our warnings unless you are conducting essential business,” said Dr. Heidi Gullett with the Cuyahoga County Board of Health.

The Stay-At-Home order in Ohio remains in effect until April 6, but Governor Mike DeWine made it clear that order could be extended.