CLEVELAND — With coronavirus (COVID-19) numbers in the area surging, Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish warned that the worst is likely still ahead.
RELATED: More coronavirus coverage from WKYC
"It's going to get worse," Budish said at a virtual press briefing to address COVID-19 on Wednesday. "This is winter in Cleveland, folks. With cold and snow pushing us indoors. The holiday season means get-togethers with family and friends and COVID. And if that's not enough [the] omicron [variant] has come to town. So please, please, please be careful. Keep gatherings small, wear your mask and get vaccinated and boosted."
Budish noted that most people going into the area's hospitals as a result of COVID-19 are unvaccinated.
"They're the ones getting really really sick and dying," he said.
Budish's comments come one day after the Cleveland Clinic announced that it is nearing its bed capacity. The Clinic said that the number of patients that are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 are the highest since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Like Budish, the Clinic noted that the majority of its patients are unvaccinated.
"They are fathers. Mothers. Sisters. Sons. Neighbors. Care in our hospitals is safe, but we're near capacity. Please help us. Get vaccinated," a tweet from the Cleveland Clinic read.
Also speaking during Wednesday's press briefing were:
- Board of Health Commissioner Terry Allan MPH
- Board of Health Medical Director Dr. Heidi Gullett MD, MPH
- Board of Health Director of Epidemiology, Surveillance & Informatics Jana Rush MPH, MA
- Board of Health Co-Director of Prevention & Wellness Romona Brazile BA, RN
- Cleveland Clinic Medical Director, Medical Operations and Infectious Disease Staff Physician Dr. Alice Kim MD, MBA
You can watch the full press briefing in the video below.