Coroner Says 7 People Froze to Death in Cuyahoga County Since Feb. 1, Mostly In Homes Without Heat


As temperatures in Cleveland remain in the teens to 20s, the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner said that there have been seven winter-related deaths since Feb. 1 with five coming in the last five days. The majority of the cases involved homes where there was no heat.

“There has been a spike in cold-related deaths, particularly in the last week. Most of these individuals lacked working heat in their residence,” Dr. Thomas Gilson said in a press release. “The county can assist with this issue and other programs related to the cold. Please check on older neighbors, especially those who may be more isolated due to the pandemic.”

Six of the seven deaths occurred in the city of Cleveland and one in Beachwood. All involved residents over the age of 53.

It's the most winter-related deaths in the county since 2009.

Resources are available to those in need from the following programs and services:

2-1-1:
Community referral line to get information about social, health, housing resources

Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP):
https://hhs.cuyahogacounty.us/programs/detail/dsas-home-energy-assistance-program

Residents may call the Division of Senior and Adult Services for assistance to complete the HEAP application, 216-420-6700

Office of Homeless Services:
https://hhs.cuyahogacounty.us/programs/detail/if-you-need-shelter

HEAP Winter Crisis Program:
https://development.ohio.gov/is/is_heapwinter.htm

Winter Reconnect Order:
https://puco.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/puco/utilities/gas/resources/winter-reconnect-order-maintain-electric-and-natural-gas-service

If you are a senior or know an older adult who needs help with heat, food, etc., contact the Division of Senior and Adult Services at 216-420-6700. 
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