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Cleveland City Council President-elect Blaine Griffin releases statement as COVID-19 cases surge in Cuyahoga County

“The most important thing you can do is to get vaccinated and get the booster."

CLEVELAND — Cleveland City Council President-Elect Blaine A. Griffin is calling for help as Cleveland faces a crisis. 

“Our hospitals are at capacity,” said Griffin. “Our EMS is being overwhelmed with calls. We must pull together and do what we know helps. Masking, keeping a safe distance, and the most important thing is vaccinating.” 

The statement from Griffin comes as Cuyahoga County ranks as one of the top three COVID-19 rates in the country. Nearly half of the cases across Cuyahoga County are from Omicron, the most infectious COVID-19 variant.

According to the Cleveland COVID-19 Public Dashboard, residents in 44102 and 44109 are experiencing the highest rate of COVID-19 infections. With staffing issues being a problem across the healthcare field, Griffin noted that calling 911 should be saved for emergencies only. 

“Please do not call EMS for minor things,” said Griffin. “We must keep ambulances available for those experiencing heart attacks, strokes, COVID, and other major medical issues. Please, if you are calling because you can’t breathe from COVID, tell EMS. They must be prepared." 

In his statement, Griffin also emphasized the importance of being vaccinated. 

“We understand residents are anxious and nervous about the new surge in COVID cases,” noted Griffin. “The most important thing you can do is to get vaccinated and get the booster. All the studies show the third shot adds extra protection, and if infected should help it to be milder and keep you out of the hospital. All children 5 and older are all eligible for the vaccine.” 

According to Griffin, UH Rainbow & Babies Children’s Hospital is also seeing record numbers of COVID-19 cases amongst children and babies. “Too many are saying kids don’t get it or don’t get very sick. UH Rainbow & Babies Children’s Hospital is reporting a surge in children with COVID. Children are dying or being left with life-long issues. Please don’t let this be your child. (Rainbow doctors recently stated that the children being infected and hospitalized are often catching it from their unvaccinated parents and immediate family members.) The vaccines are safe. Some 240 million Americans and hundreds of millions more around the world have been vaccinated. We are all living proof that the vaccines are safe.” 

At the end of Griffin’s statement, he acknowledged all the hard work first responders have done throughout the COVID-19 pandemic in Cuyahoga County and across the state of Ohio. 

"We want to thank our EMS and Paramedics who are continuing to do this hard work in trying times. Our community stands behind our EMS, Paramedics and all our First Responders who I’m sure, like us, thought when the vaccines came out a majority of Clevelanders and Ohioans would rush to get this lifesaving shot. But only 60% of Ohioans have had two shots. We must all do our part in this fight against COVID.”

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