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Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish, county health leaders hold COVID-19 briefing as cases continue to rise

COVID-19 cases in Cuyahoga County have increased by 76% in the last two weeks, with an average of 424 per day.

CLEVELAND — With COVID-19 numbers on the rise across Ohio, Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish and county health leaders held a briefing on Wednesday afternoon.

"Unfortunately, just when we relax, the virus comes back," Budish began. "COVID-19 is on the rise again in Cuyahoga County. According to the CDC, the community level of COVID in Cuyahoga County is up to medium, based on cases and hospitalizations."

According to Budish and Cuyahoga County Health Commissioner Dr. Roderick Harris, coronavirus cases in the county have increased by 76% in the last two weeks, with an average of 424 cases per day. 

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"The good news is that we are not seeing a big rise in hospitalizations or deaths. While the new BA.2 variant is more contagious than other variants, it’s not as severe as past variants, in general," Budish added.

"We have resources available and there is hope that we can get back down to a low community level if we all do our part," said Harris.

Wednesday's briefing came as two Northeast Ohio counties, Lorain and Ashtabula, are now listed as having “high” community levels of COVID-19 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This means health experts are advising residents in those counties to wear face masks while in indoor public spaces.

"I think just like we’ve seen in Michigan and the Northeast and surrounding states, we’re probably going to see it spread in Ohio. So we will see more hospitalizations. We already have a lot of people being infected. For most of us, we know more people being infected now than anytime since the pandemic started," Cleveland Clinic Chief Medical Operations Officer Dr. Robert Wyllie told 3News' Amani Abraham earlier this week.

RELATED: Experts react after CDC reports Ashtabula, Lorain counties reach 'high' community level of COVID-19

Meanwhile on the vaccine front, Pfizer says it’ll seek emergency use authorization for a three-dose course of its COVID vaccine for ages 6 months to 5 years old. It comes after they say its latest study shows that its vaccine, which is one tenth the dose of adults, was well tolerated and was more than 80 percent effective.

You can watch Wednesday's briefing below:

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