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COVID in Cuyahoga County: Officials reports case numbers are dropping from early January peak

The county's testing positivity rate is at 17%, roughly half of where it was when omicron was hitting the area hardest in early January.

CLEVELAND — Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish and local health leaders held a briefing on Wednesday to provide an update the COVID-19 pandemic. Budish was joined by Cuyahoga County Board of Health Commissioner Terry Allan and Board of Health Medical Director Dr. Heidi Gullett.

While health leaders are concerned about the continued effects of the omicron variant, the news might be getting a little bit better. Allan reported that the number of COVID-19 cases in Cuyahoga County has dropped since the peak of omicron at the start of January.

"What that tells us is that omicron has burnt through the population very quickly among those that were exposed," Allan explained. He added that the case rate in Cuyahoga County is eight times the CDC's threshold for high transmission, which is down from being 13 times above the threshold during the peak of omicron.

Allan also noted that the county's testing positivity rate is at 17%, roughly half of where it was when omicron was hitting the area hardest in early January. 

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"We're optimistic as our numbers continue to drop, but the risk is high and our hospitals continue to be under stress," Allan added.

You can watch Wednesday's entire briefing in the player below

The press conference comes as COVID cases remain high throughout Ohio amid the omicron variant. As of Tuesday’s data report, Ohio’s 21-day average for new infections now stands at 22,063. Ohio is also reporting that 55.82 percent of the population is now considered fully vaccinated. Cuyahoga County's rate of fully vaccinated people, however, is a bit higher than the statewide numbers at 60.85 percent.

Earlier this month, Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb announced the team members for his COVID-19 task force, which features a group of hospital CEOs, public health officials and more. Allan and Budish are both on that list.

For those searching for a COVID test, President Biden's administration has launched their initiative of delivering four free tests per household to those who sign up HERE.

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