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Friday, May 29, 2020

Cuyahoga County Ties Biggest Spike in Coronavirus Cases Since Pandemic Started to People Being Out and About

Posted By on Fri, May 29, 2020 at 1:33 PM

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As Cuyahoga County has reopened, coronavirus cases have spiked.

That was expected, though state and local officials have repeatedly asked and essentially begged people to use masks, frequent hand washing and social distancing to prevent as many transmissions as possible as offices, restaurants, retail shops, gyms and more have welcomed employees and customers for the first time since the pandemic started.

There were 484 new cases in Cuyahoga County in the past week, not including the city of Cleveland, which reports its cases separately, Board of Health Director Dr. Heidi Gullett announced at today's press briefing.

There have been 186 total deaths in the county, again not including Cleveland, which has had 50 additional deaths. The median age of death is 81 years old. A 36-year-old county resident died from COVID-19 this week.

Since it takes up to 14 days for symptoms to present themselves, the most recent infections would date back to around May 14.

Yes, there is more testing in Ohio, but that doesn't account for what we're seeing.

“Our testing is more than in March and April but it’s not substantially more this week and we have substantially more cases this week, so I do think it’s a reflection of people venturing out of their homes more and being interactive more,” Gullett said. "This is the biggest weekly increase we’ve had since the pandemic hit our community."

There were actually fewer tests than the week before, according to the board of health, with 13,310 conducted from May 20th to May 26th compared to 15,726 from May 13th to May 19th.

The spike in positive cases can be traced to people returning to work and interacting with others, Gullett said.

“We get daily reports of employers that have positive cases, so that’s an increasing area of cluster for us because people weren’t out working, so we’re seeing now pivoting our cluster investigation response strategy to reflect more community clusters,” she said.

The county also released this week's update zip-code breakdown of confirmed cases, which shows the most patients in the far eastern suburbs, near west side areas, and southern suburbs like Parma and Seven Hills.

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