CLEVELAND — On Friday afternoon, County Executive Armond Budish and leaders from the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, held a virtual media briefing to provide updates and data on the COVID-19 pandemic in Cuyahoga County.
It was the the first conference by county leaders in several weeks.
While Budish and Cuyahoga County Health Commissioner Terry Allan provided some good news about vaccine distribution, both expressed frustration over the Ohio General Assembly's override of Gov. Mike DeWine's veto of Senate Bill 22.
The move opens the door for the General Assembly to be able to reject any of the governor’s or health department’s health orders.
"These orders were critical to slow the spread of the virus, keep people healthy, and save lives. Yet the state legislature this week overrode the Governor’s veto of legislation designed to stop the Governor and health officials from taking emergency steps to protect the public," said Budish. "I am very concerned that this legislation, passed for political reasons, puts all of us at risk during this and future emergencies."
Allan also expressed his concerns about the move by lawmakers during his remarks.
"We know that isolation and quarantine are the basic tenants of public health prevention," he said. "These are critical tools that have served public health well and prevented disease."
Budish did announce that so far, 46,000 people have been vaccinated at the Wolstein Center. Over 340,000 residents in the county have received at least one vaccine. There are currently over 100 vaccination sites in Cuyahoga County.
Over the past several weeks, cases of COVID-19 have plateaued in Ohio.
Since Tuesday, the Ohio Department of Health has reported at least 1,400 new cases each day. On Friday, the number of cases in the state ballooned to over 2,700.
Despite those numbers, there is good news on the horizon.
At a vaccine clinic in Canton on Friday, the Governor said we are getting closer to normal during the pandemic.
"This summer is, you know - the president talked about July 4th. I'll talk about Memorial Day. I think Memorial Day will be good," Gov. DeWine said. "You know, a lot better than it was last Memorial Day. I'm very optimistic, but we just - we can't let up."
Another good sign of hope in terms of fighting the virus is the online portal.
On Friday, the state's COVID-19 vaccine portal, which can be found here, began allowing all users age 16-years-old and older to schedule appointments to receive the vaccine. As of 12:15 p.m. ET on Friday, there were appointments available for Saturday at the mass vaccination site at the Wolstein Center on Cleveland State's campus.
You can watch Friday's briefing in the player below: