Cuyahoga County held a briefing on August 21, updating residents and the media about the COVID-19 in the county.
In June, Cuyahoga County had a 15.2 percent unemployment rate, which is a drop from the pandemic high of 22.9 percent in April, but still much higher than the same time last year when unemployment was at 4.7 percent. To help with the widespread unemployment, the county is partnering with the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County OhioMeans Jobs to host virtual job fairs, with the next fairs taking place Thursday, August 27 & Friday, August 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. “There are thousands of jobs available,” Cuyahoga County Executive Director Armond Budish shared during Friday’s Cuyahoga County Board of Health COVID-19 briefing. Jobseekers can register for the fairs here. Budish said the county is also helping business owners and entrepreneurs during this time with an initiative called The Lab— a program that connects them with “public sector partners to test new ideas, products, or services in a real-world environment for 12 to 16 weeks.”
In June, Cuyahoga County had a 15.2 percent unemployment rate, which is a drop from the pandemic high of 22.9 percent in April.
To address the digital divide that affects 25 percent of county residents who lack access to reliable internet service, the county has partnered with local organizations— like PCs for People— to distribute computers and hotspots along with a free two-year internet subscription. To date, the county has obtained 21,500 computers and 13,000 hotspots, which will be distributed over the next few weeks.
“Get your ballot application in now, right now, TODAY!” Budish said as he turned the discussion to the upcoming election. Understanding the concerns residents may have regarding the United States Postal Service’s capacity to handle the increase of vote-by-mail ballots, he urged residents to fill out and send in their ballots as soon as they receive them. Another election concern he addressed was the lack of poll workers. Historically, poll workers have been older adults, but many of those volunteers have opted-out of working the polls this year due to COVID-19. If the county doesn’t have enough poll workers, polling locations will need to be consolidated, which will likely lead to long lines, longer wait times, and other issues. The county is teaming up with the Cleveland Cavaliers to give their employees time off with pay to work the polls, and he hopes other companies can do the same. Poll workers will also receive $250. Visit https://boe.cuyahogacounty.us/en-US/becomeapollworker.aspx to learn more about becoming a poll worker.
Get your ballot application in now, right now, TODAY!
“These masks work, they save lives, they prevent cases of COVID and it’s a best practice,” Health Commissioner Terry Allen shared during his remarks. While the county has moved from risk level three to risk level two for the first time since the COVID-19 Public Health Advisory System was announced, he stressed the need to continue vigilantly wearing masks and social distancing.
As of Thursday, there were 14,673 cases reported in Cuyahoga County, including the City of Cleveland. Of those, 15.7 percent required hospitalization, by far the highest rate in the state. Data from the Nationwide Children’s Hospital indicates that most children with COVID-19 do well, but about 10 percent become sick enough to be hospitalized. The data also shows that older teenagers, about age 17, have the highest positivity rate among all children.
Older teenagers, about age 17, have the highest positivity rate among all children.
With 25 percent of the state starting the school year remotely, especially in high population counties like Cuyahoga, county boards are working closely with school districts to implement COVID safety recommendations, including providing training on food safety and contact tracing in case an outbreak occurs.
“We understand that this has been difficult for everyone,” Director of Prevention and Wellness Romona Brazile shared during her remarks on the supports available to residents who are struggling with mental health or addiction issues, which can be found at https://www.ccbh.net/coronavirus/. She also reminded people about the importance of self-isolating from the time they take a test to when they receive the results.
So far, 8,562 people have recovered from the virus
Medical Director Dr. Heidi Gullett wrapped up the briefing with updated COVID-19 case numbers. As of August 21, the county had seen a drop in reported cases from 621 to 591. There were also 10,192 total coronavirus cases, with patients ranging from one-week-old to 103-years-old. There have been 433 deaths in victims ranging in age from 36 to 103-years-old. Total hospitalizations due to the virus were 1,067 and there have been 268 ICU admissions. So far, 8,562 people have recovered from the virus.
 Unemployment Rate in Cuyahoga County, OH. Economic Data Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Accessed August 24, 2020. https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/OHCUYA5URN.