CLEVELAND — Cuyahoga County officials held a virtual meeting Friday to provide an update on the coronavirus pandemic.
It appears some progress has been made.
While new case numbers are still relatively high, they are down a bit from previous weeks, and hospital bed utilization has begun to stabilize. The testing positivity rate has also to 7.5%, although that's still above the recommended threshold of 5%.
"We’re still in the coronavirus crisis," County Executive Armond Budish said. "The federal government recently called out 11 cities with serious COVID-19 problems, and Cleveland was one of them."
Budish and other officials continued to emphasize the use of face masks, which are now required to be worn in public across the state of Ohio. The county has received numerous complaints of people and businesses not complying with the order, and has now set up a new website (cuyahogacounty.us/masks) where people can make their experiences known (good or bad).
"These kinds of sites [similarly] help us make good decisions about which movie to see or hotel to stay at," Budish said. "They depend on the public to register their views."
Businesses that are following good practices will show up on the map with a green dot. Businesses that are following none of the practices will show up with a red dot and businesses that are following the practices partially will show up as yellow.
Budish added that the county has already sent about 1,400 letters to businesses expressing concerns from citizens about mask compliance.
Adult hospital bed occupancy remains at about 80%, and even though it hasn't risen much in recent weeks its still at the highest level of the pandemic. However, County Board of Health Medical Director Dr. Heidi Gullet says medical facilities are prepared to expand their capacities should there be a surge.
"We're very fortunate to have tremendous capacity and ability to take care of sick people in Cuyahoga County," she said.
Gullet did lament that 34 more Cuyahoga residents died this week from COVID-19. The pandemic has now taken the lives of more than 400 people in the county.
You can watch Friday's briefing below: