CUYAHOGA COUNTY, Ohio (WJW) – The Cuyahoga County Board of Health is recommending everyone wear masks indoors and near others in light of a rapid increase in the number of COVID-19 cases as well as increased spread of the Delta variant in the region.
The recommendation is for everyone regardless of vaccination status, and in areas of substantial or high transmission, which includes Cuyahoga County. The guidance applies to those two years of age and older.
Public health officials discussed the recommendations and reasoning behind them in a press conference Wednesday.
**See a LIVE BLOG from the press conference at the bottom of this page**
According to the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, healthcare facilities, businesses and other organizations may require masks to ensure the safety of their employees and customers based on their individual circumstances.
Recommendations for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals include:
- All those who are medically able to do so should wear a face mask in public indoor settings when near
- others, regardless of vaccination status
- The use of face masks is recommended for all teachers, staff, students and visitors to schools, regardless
- of vaccination status
- Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
- Everyone with a known contact to someone with confirmed COVID-19 disease should get tested 3-5
- days following exposure
- Isolate if you have tested positive for COVID-19 in the prior 10 days or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
In addition, Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish is signing an order stating that employees and the public, regardless of their vaccination status, must wear masks in all county buildings effective Aug. 5.
- CCBH Health Commissioner Terry Allan: About 55 percent of residents have started the vaccination process. Over 80 percent of those over 85 have been vaccinated.
- Allan: The county is in a ‘substantial transmit’ area
- Allan: Delta is more than twice as contagious as previous variants. We also anticipate cases, fatalities and hospitalizations to rise.
- Allan: “It’s critically important” that anyone eligible to get the vaccine do so
- Allan: Adults who contract COVID can unknowingly pass it on to the elderly or children
- Allan: Risks for transmission are the same as before the vaccine was available
- Allan: If you’re in an indoor space, an office space, retail stores, etc., we encourage masks
- Allan: For schools,
- Dr. Robert Wyllie: Averaging 1,262 cases per day which is 142 percent increase. Nearly 800 hospitalized, up from 200 a few weeks ago.
Recently, the CDC recommended that people in areas with high transmission wear masks in indoor public settings regardless of their vaccination status.
Many businesses are asking customers to mask up once again.
According to the CDC, the Delta variant accounts for more than 93% of COVID cases in the U.S.
The World Health Organization says the world is on track to hit 200 million cases next week.
Summit County asked all people to mask indoors, regardless of their vaccination status, in new guidance released Tuesday.
Summit County also has substantial spread of the virus.