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The Effects of COVID: County Data

by Devyn Giannetti , Communications Specialist, Communications Department

Woman sits at a computer and wears a headsetWhen the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Cuyahoga County introduced new programs and shifted services online to help residents. Months out from the beginning of the pandemic, it is important to study and record the effects and impact.

Multiple County agencies tracked their adjusted strategies and programs through Cuyahoga Performance, a quarterly report which tracks progress toward the goals of the Cuyahoga County Strategic Plan.

Below are a few highlights from the second quarter of 2020:

Division of Job and Family Services Contact Center
DJFS staff transitioned to a primarily work-at-home environment and adapted to changes in case processing requirements due to COVID-19.

DJFS staff:

  • Increased the Contact Center’s call answer rate by nearly 25% to 89.9%
  • Reduced call wait time by 72 percent, from 18.9 minutes to 5.3 minutes.

Staff will continue to play a critical role in ensuring support and services are provided in a timely, efficient manner with the highest level of customer service.

Regional Approaches to Public Safety and Law Enforcement Project Updates
Cuyahoga County activated the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and Joint Information Center in response to COVID-19 in March. The EOC remains fully activated as the pandemic continues.

Since activation:

  • 5.7 million units of PPE have been distributed/assigned for pick up by the EOC.
  • PPE distributed to healthcare workers, first responders, and other critical care agencies.

Performing EOC operations from a centralized location provides a systematic means to direct the County’s overall incident support efforts, allocate and coordinate resources, and coordinate communications.

Development Job Creation and Retention & Investment in Business Attraction, Growth and Retention
Cuyahoga County and its Economic Development partners provided more than $3 million in grants and loans to over 830 businesses to mitigate the economic impacts of the pandemic.

SkillUp Business Advisory Services
In early April, SkillUp contacted every SkillUp client, nearly 600 businesses, to provide support and expertise and help businesses plan and navigate to access regional and national resources.

As a result of these efforts:

  • 307 outbound referrals were made for COVID-related business needs for 94 businesses.
  • 80 % of the business needs were capital related.

SkillUp also created and launched a business damage survey, which provided real-time data to the team to understand what was happening in the market as COVID-19 was unfolding. This process identified key market insights that could drive service delivery and inform new products/services including the Small Business Resource Center.

Office of Early Childhood Universal Pre-Kindergarten Enrollment and Kindergarten Readiness:
The Office of Early Childhood (OEC) has been working to help UPK sites reopen safely.

They have:

  • Provided free personal protective equipment.
  • Created a special discount purchasing opportunity with Ohio Desk for freestanding sinks to help sites set up more hand-washing stations.
  • Reached out to the County Board of Health to develop a list of FAQs for the sites.
  • Increased reimbursement rates as of June 1 to help offset the loss of revenue to childcare centers.

Health and Human Services Medicaid Enrollment:
As a result of two Medicaid Eligibility Procedure Letters, Medicaid enrollment numbers increased in Q2-20, ensuring that citizens of Cuyahoga County have and retain medical coverage during this health emergency.

As the COVID-pandemic continues, County agencies will continue to adjust and adapt to the ever-changing needs of residents.