Cuyahoga County is worst in the state for COVID-19 cases

Cuyahoga County Health Commissioner Terry Allan said the COVID-19 case numbers may be underreported due to people taking at-home tests and not self-reporting, or not testing at all. He said the county is watching hospitalization numbers to determine how omicron is affecting the community. [Cuyahoga County / YouTube]
Cuyahoga County Health Commissioner Terry Allan said the COVID-19 case numbers may be underreported due to people taking at-home tests and not self-reporting, or not testing at all. He said the county is watching hospitalization numbers to determine how omicron is affecting the community. [Cuyahoga County / YouTube]

Cuyahoga County has the most COVID-19 cases per capita than any other county in the state, Cuyahoga County Board of Health officials said in a press briefing on Wednesday. 

"We remain in crisis mode," said county Health Commissioner Terry Allan. "The unvaccinated continue to drive up this hospital surge.”

Of the county's COVID cases, 90% are omicron. Nationally, about 95% of new COVID-19 cases are the omicron variant. In mid-December, omicron was only about 13% of new cases nationally. The extreme jump in cases speaks to how contagious the variant is. 

"Because of that spread from person to person... our rate of transmission has skyrocketed," Allan said. 

For those who are unvaccinated and unmasked, Allan said "you're asking to be infected with omicron." 

The county is seeing thousands of new cases a day, but that may be underreported due to people taking at-home tests or not testing at all. Instead, health officials are watching hospitalization rates. 

"We’re watching the hospitalization numbers to understand just how omicron is affecting the community," Allan said. 

About 95% of hospitalizations and deaths are unvaccinated people, Allan said. He and other health officials are continuing to encourage everyone to get vaccinated and wear masks in public, indoor spaces.

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