Northeast Ohio health industry leaders speak out about possible second wave of COVID-19

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CLEVELAND (WJW) – It is a sobering milestone.

The CDC predicts October will see another 20,000 additional COVID-19 deaths, based on the rising number of cases in dozens of states.

Yet Dr. Frank Esper, a pediatric infectious disease specialist with the Cleveland Clinic says that Ohio is actually doing pretty well.

“When you hear things are on the rise, that may not necessarily be Ohio,” he said. “In fact … there are other areas of the country that are really seeing the big surges.”

Still, just last week, Ohio saw its single highest daily number of cases with more than 1,800.

Dr. Esper attributes the spike in cases to the change in seasons.

But as for this being a possible second wave?

“We’re worried that this may be a third wave,” he said. “The second wave happened during the summer and the first wave happened in the spring. The temperature, the sun, the cold, people moving in … everything is now starting to move in the favor of this coronavirus to spread.”

In Northeast Ohio, Cuyahoga County is reporting the highest number of cases at more than 18,500. In comparison, Summit County is just shy of 6,000 cases.

Summit County Health Commissioner Donna Skoda also blamed the uptick to community spread.

“People let their guard down. They’re thinking, ‘Oh I’m here, this is to have fun, I know you, I go to school with you every day.’ I think we have to start thinking that COVID is here 24/7,” said Skoda.

And with the holiday season fast approaching, Skoda added, “Just because it’s legal to have more or a lot of people at your house, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.”

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