March 18, 2020 Media Briefing Recap

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Briefings To Be Held Monday, Wednesday and Friday Going Forward

— Today the Cuyahoga County Board of Health held their daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 at their offices at 5550 Venture Drive, Parma, Ohio 44130 at 8:45 a.m. Briefings will now take place Monday, Wednesday and Friday each week and continue until the COVID-19 situation no longer merits frequent messaging.

Below are points discussed by Cuyahoga County Board of Health Commissioner Terry Allan and Cuyahoga County Board of Health Medical Director Dr. Heidi Gullett:

  • The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases as of 8:45 this morning is 26 in the Cuyahoga County Board of Health’s jurisdiction. The date of onset of symptoms ranges from February 29-March 15. There are currently two hospitalizations and zero deaths.
  • No information on the names or locations of the individuals who test positive will be released to protect their health information.

New Call Line
  • A new Cuyahoga County Coronavirus Help Line has been developed thanks to the generous assistance of the United Way 2-1-1 First Call for Help Program. The number is 1-855-711-3035. Callers who need general information will hear a series of options before being connected to a live 2-1-1 operator.

  • Testing involves one sample that occurs via a swab deep into the nose. Sometimes this can cause you to cough.
  • It is important for healthcare providers to wear the appropriate equipment protect their eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Once the test is obtained it is sent to a lab and is first checked for influenza as well as other respiratory viruses. If there is a positive result, COVID testing is not performed. If those results are negative, COVID testing is performed.
  • The highest risk patients and those hospitalized are currently being prioritized for testing. This is not currently a situation where everyone in the community should be screened. We are working with hospital partners to understand the total scope of testing capacity, which is changing on a regular basis.

  • The CDC and the Governor’s Office are recommending that meetings or gatherings involving more than 50 people should be postponed or canceled for the next eight weeks.
  • We are asking local businesses and organizations to please use remote work policies as much as possible.
  • County Executive Budish announced yesterday that most County buildings will be closed to the public until further notice beginning today. The County will still provide critical services, which are listed on the Cuyahoga County website at

Food Inspections
  • Sanitarians are continuing to inspect food operations as usual.
  • Exceptions at this time could be locations such as hospitals and nursing homes, where they are trying to keep visitors away in order to protect their patients and staff.
  • There are no special cooking considerations for killing coronavirus. Wash your hands thoroughly before and after preparing your food and follow accepted cooking temperatures as found on the USDA website.

Grocery Stores
  • For the good of everyone working and shopping, please do your best to exercise patience and proper hygiene at the store.
  • Take advantage of online ordering and at-home delivery if your local store offers those options.
  • Remember to maintain social distancing as you wait in line. Let the person in front of you finish their transaction before moving forward. As you wait to pay, don’t stand directly across from the cashier if possible.

Hygiene Tips to Protect Yourself and Others
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes in the bend of your elbow or with a tissue.
  • Please be sure that your tissues end up in a trash can.
  • For those emptying the trash cans, please be sure to wear gloves or wash your hands immediately after.
  • Clean commonly-touched services on a regular basis.
  • Don’t share food, drink, knives, forks, spoons or cups

Media Briefings will now be held Monday, Wednesday and Friday moving forward and is subject to change based on conditions and information. There will be no media briefing Thursday, March 19.

For more information from the Board of Health, visit

For information from the CDC, visit

For information from the Ohio Department of Health, visit or call 1-833-4-ASKODH.