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Cleveland public health director points to period immediately following May 30 social unrest as time when COVID-19 spike began

Cleveland had a single-day record increase of 75 cases of coronavirus on Sunday.
Credit: Cleveland Department of Public Health

CLEVELAND — There has been an alarming increase in the number of positive cases of COVID-19 in Cleveland over the last few days, including Sunday's single-day record increase of 75. 

As of now, there are 2,245 total cases with 75 fatalities in the city. 

“Make no mistake - the virus has not gone away. If we don’t double down on prevention and take these measures seriously, the effects will be devastating," said Mayor Frank Jackson in a statement. 

RELATED: Cleveland reports single-day record increase of 75 new coronavirus cases

When did this spike of new cases begin? On Monday, Cleveland Director of Public Health Merle Gordon briefed the Health and Human Services Committee of Cleveland City Council about the city's COVID-19 response. 

Gordon pointed to the time when Cleveland reopened from its curfew following the George Floyd protests that turned violent as the period when the number of cases started going up. 

"The spikes start to happen June 3rd and June 4th," Gordon told the committee. "That's a few days after the daytime curfew was lifted in downtown Cleveland." 

Gordon added that during the process of contract tracing, patients are asked if they attended any kind of mass gathering to help pinpoint where the onset of cases might begin. 

What she and her team are finding, however, is how many people are indicating to tracers that they've been traveling. This includes going to beaches, eating out, and going to nightclubs. 

"People tend to relax when it comes to wearing face coverings or how close they get to others," Gordon said.

That's also why Gordon indicated to the committee that they have been seeing more people in the 20 to 29 years old age group become infected with COVID-19. 

You can watch Monday's Health and Human Services committee meeting in the player below: 

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