Hospital personnel prepare to administer a dose of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine.
Cuyahoga County moved from medium to high levels of Covid transmission in the past week, based on metrics used by CDC
(cases per 100,000 residents and percentage of inpatient hospital beds taken by Covid patients).
The CDC recommends residents in high-transmission counties wear masks indoors and on public transportation.
County Executive Armond Budish on Wednesday said cases have increased 76 percent in the last two weeks, and while hospitalizations remain low (only 3.3 percent of inpatients beds are currently being used by Covid patients), Cuyahoga is now seeing 240.15 cases per 100,000 people.
"Unfortunately, just when we relax, the virus comes back," Budish said. "COVID-19 is on the rise again in Cuyahoga County."
While the numbers aren't quite as high as when Ohio hit peak numbers, the rates are beginning to climb again with the rise of omicron subvariant BA.2.
"The good news is that we are not seeing a big rise in hospitalizations or deaths," Budish said. "While the new BA.2 variant is more contagious than other variants, it’s not as severe as past variants, in general."
Budish joined others in stressing the importance of vaccines and noting that, despite BA.2 appearing less severe, the dangers of long Covid remain a real threat to those who catch the virus.
Five Ohio counties, including Lorain and Ashtabula, currently have high transmission rates.
The state reported 19,546 new COVID cases (506 which were hospitalized) in the past seven days
, the eighth straight week where cases have increased.