Virus Fatigue Leads To Spike In Cuyahoga County COVID-19 Cases

Coronavirus graphic
After three consecutive weeks of decline, COVID-19 cases are surging this week in Cuyahoga County. [Shutterstock]

The number of coronavirus cases spiked in Cuyahoga County this week, according to county health officials. 

County officials held a special Friday afternoon news conference to ring the alarm bell and to point out what they called a troubling trend.

“After three consecutive weeks of decline we are definitely surging this week," said Romona Brazile, prevention and wellness director for the county health board.

There were 480 coronavirus cases this week, the highest total in a month and second highest since the pandemic began, she said. County data does not include cases from the city of Cleveland.

The county had been averaging about 20 to 30 cases per day over the past few weeks. There was a stark increase to 100 confirmed cases two days in a row, Brazile said.

According to Brazile, investigations and contact tracing of the people who had contracted the virus revealed that young adults — people in their 20s and 30s — are major contributors to the new cases.

“We are still seeing a lot of social gatherings, parties, and get-togethers — friend groups and families are spreading the virus,” Brazile said.

“It’s not time to get relaxed because this virus is still circulating," she said.

People are growing tired of being inside, not socializing with friends, and also tired of wearing masks, health officials said.

“We have seen some caution fatigue, younger people mixing together,” said Terry Allan, county health commissioner

“This is clearly a statewide trend that involves young people,” Allan said.

There has also been an increase in testing for the virus locally but the increase in positive cases is not being fueled by more testing, he said.

The increase in cases will eventually lead to more people getting seriously ill and that could potentially begin to strain our local hospital systems, said Dr. Heidi Gullett, county medical director.

There has been a 5 percent increase in ventilator use in local hospitals, Gullett said.

It is not overwhelming the system at this point, she said, "but our concern is if this trend continues."

County officials are urging the public to remain vigilant and to continue to wear masks. People need to think back to the way they were behaving in March, and bring back the social distancing measures, Allan said.

According to the Ohio Department of Health, there are currently some 6.571 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Cuyahoga County and 351 deaths from the virus.

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