April 10, 2020 Media Briefing Recap

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Joint Information Center: JIC@cuyahogacounty.us; 216-443-5245

CUYAHOGA COUNTY, OH — Today the Cuyahoga County Board of Health held their media briefing regarding COVID-19 at their offices at 5550 Venture Drive, Parma, Ohio 44130 at 8:45 a.m. The next briefing will take place Tuesday, April 14 at 8:45 a.m. The briefings will continue until the COVID-19 situation no longer merits regular messaging.

Below are points discussed by County Executive Armond Budish, Board of Health Commissioner Terry Allan, Board of Health Medical Director Dr. Heidi Gullett and Board of Health Deputy Director Romona Braziel:

  • As of this morning, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Cuyahoga County, excluding the City of Cleveland, is 746. The date of onset ranges from February 29 to April 6 with an age range of one week old to 101 years old. There are 20 deaths in Cuyahoga County to date, with an age range of 55 to 93 years old.

Hotspot Donations
  • County Executive Armond Budish announced today that the County is donating 300 hotspots to Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD).
  • The hotspots were provided by the Board of Elections and were scheduled to be used for the March in-person primary and will be replaced for the November election.
  • The County worked with AT&T to identify a plan to provide wi-fi access for free for about two months for each of the hotspots, which should take students through the end of the school year. CMSD will distribute the hotspots to students.
  • The County is also working with Secure Recycling to provide Chromebooks with most, if not all, of the hotspots, for students to use through the end of the school year.

Call for Computer Donations from Businesses
  • Executive Budish also announced that the County has put a call out to local businesses for computers and more hotspots that can be donated to PCs for People
  • PCs for People provide free or low-cost devices to individuals based on income and low-cost internet plans. They can safely pick up and refurbish computers and hotspots to go out to users. PCs for People is NAID AAA-certified for data destruction, allowing businesses to feel confident their data will be secure throughout the destruction process.
  • The County has also created maps for each of the CMSD pick-up locations that identify places where public wifi is available nearby.

Cuyahoga County Data

The following data was presented by Dr. Heidi Gullett and can be found on the Board of Health’s website:
  • 11-13 percent of COVID-19 tests conducted have tested positive, with a high focus on hospitalized patients and healthcare workers/first responders who become symptomatic
  • 33 percent of confirmed cases have been hospitalized
  • 13 percent of confirmed cases have had ICU admissions
  • 33 percent of infections are among healthcare workers
  • 62 percent of med/surge adult units have been utilized
  • 37 percent of pediatric units have been utilized • 68 percent of critical care units have been utilized
  • 35 percent of ventilators have been utilized

To date, the Cuyahoga County Board of Health has issued:
  • 737 isolation orders
  • 1,427 quarantine orders
  • 143 cases have been cleared.

Race and Ethnicity

Data Below is the breakdown of those who have tested positive by their race:
  • 44 percent white
  • 39 percent black
  • 10 percent unknown
  • 7 percent all other races
  • It is important to understand how race and ethnicity have come into play in Cuyahoga County since before COVID-19. Communities of color have different opportunities that relate back to systems, structures and bias that have been in place for many, many years. The Board of Health has spent the past decade trying to better understand how different opportunities emerge for populations of color in Cuyahoga County.
  • Health Improvement Partnership-Cuyahoga (HIP-Cuyahoga) has brought together many local organizations to help learn about racial equity and how to come together to make sure everyone has an opportunity to thrive here—through the economy, jobs, food, exercise, etc.
  • One of the Board of Health’s priorities is to eliminate structural racism to make sure everyone has an equal opportunity to reach their potential. We can tackle something much better together than as individual organizations.

Finding Solutions
  • The Ohio Manufacturing Alliance is working with the state government on a plan to manufacture PPE right here in Ohio.
  • 19 in-state manufacturers are now beginning to retool and produce PPE and some will also be making face shield that can be sterilized and re-used.
  • Up to 1 million will be produced for statewide distribution through the Ohio Department of Health.

Places of Worship and Mass Gatherings
  • With Passover and Easter coming up, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine offered the following advice: “Anybody who goes into a big group of people is making a very, very serious mistake. They’re endangering themselves, they’re endangering their family, and they are endangering total strangers. Any pastor who brings people together in close proximity to each other…is making a huge mistake. By bringing people together, you are risking their health, you are risking your health, and you are risking total strangers’ health. This is just a huge, huge mistake.”
  • We have heard of many congregations finding alternative ways to practice their faith. These include video streaming, radio broadcasts and drive-in services among others.

The Board of Health is following the lead of the Ohio Department of Health and the CDC.

To access the Cuyahoga County Coronavirus Help Line, call 440-59-COVID (440-592-6843).

For more information from the Board of Health, visit https://www.ccbh.net/.

For information from the CDC, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html.

For information from the Ohio Department of Health, visit https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/ or call 1-833-4-ASKODH.