CLEVELAND — Due to a nationwide drop in COVID-19 activity, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has introduced a risk-based decision tool to assist with decision-making about prevention and treatment measures, with Cuyahoga County currently in the "low risk" for transmission category.
CDC guidance for “low risk” indicates that the general population should stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines, including boosters, and get tested if symptomatic.
Individuals who are at high risk for severe disease if exposed to COVID should talk to their healthcare provider about wearing a mask or taking other precautions, including testing, according to the Cuyahoga County Board of Health.
As a result of the new tool, Cuyahoga County is lifting the countywide mask advisory that was put in place to combat past surges of cases and adopting the following masking guidance for county building and field staff, effective March 7, 2022:
- Masks are optional for most staff as long as Cuyahoga County is in the Medium or Low-Risk category, per the aforementioned CDC decision tool
- All nursing and clinical staff are required to wear masks while providing direct patient care
- All staff and clients entering the clinic are required to wear a mask
- Masks are optional for all other clients entering the building
Staff are required to wear a mask when interacting with populations at high risk for severe disease or who cannot be vaccinated against COVID-19.
These settings include:
- Direct care services to patient populations in clinical, home visiting, school health and dental sealant programs
- Childcare facilities
- Congregate sites such as long-term care facilities and group homes
- Buildings that require masks
Cuyahoga County officials say they will continue to monitor the CDC risk-based tool to assess the county's status moving forward and update mask policy and related policies, including the Health and Safety Plan, as necessary.
Staff may choose to wear a mask for personal protection at any time in locations where they are not required. This includes the CCBH office as well as any offsite work location.