Cleveland Clinic makes changes ahead of presidential debate as patient appointments continue

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CLEVELAND (WJW)– Tuesday’s presidential debate in Cleveland will mark the first time a hospital has served as a debate host, and the Cleveland Clinic has announced changes affecting patients, staff and visitors.

The hospital is teaming up with Case Western Reserve University to cohost the debate, which will take place inside Samson Pavilion in the heart of the Clinic’s main campus.

“2020 (has been) such a challenging year, and to be able to host the first debate of the presidential campaign is truly an honor for ourselves and for Case Western Reserve,” said Cleveland Clinic Chief of Operations Bill Peacock.

The Cleveland Clinic said patient appointments will continue as scheduled, but the hospital is asking for flexibility amid changes.

“We want to assure patients that we’re still open for business and we’re making all the accommodations we can to make sure their care is safe and that they have access,” Peacock said.

Among the changes: The temporary closure of the hospital’s main entrance on Euclid Avenue, which is just across the street from the debate hall.

“With any event that includes a head of state, there are usually security precautions that are put in place, and that was one of the constraints we had to make,” Peacock said.

The Cleveland Clinic said starting Saturday the main entrance will temporarily move to the Glickman Building entrance on East 96th Street. The main entrance to the Children’s Outpatient Center will move to East 90th Street. The Parking 1 Garage across from the Clinic’s main entrance will close starting Saturday.

The hospital advised anyone coming to the main campus to leave extra time. Normal hospital operations are expected to resume Thursday.

“We’ll continue to keep the public as well as our patients and employees informed about how to get to us and where those points of access will be,” Peacock said.

The city of Cleveland announced numerous road closures due to the debate’s security perimeter. Streets surrounding Samson Pavilion will close, including Chester and Euclid avenues starting Friday. The city said roads will remain closed until Thursday night.

“It’s necessary to protect the participants in the event, but it’s also necessary to protect the Cleveland Clinic, as well,” Peacock said.

The debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Joe Biden will be held Tuesday at 9 p.m.

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