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Geauga County health official pleads with public to stay home

With the number of COVID-19 cases continuing to rise, Geauga County's health commissioner worries too many people aren't following the statewide stay-at-home order.

BAINBRIDGE, Ohio — An aerial view of one of Geauga County's shopping centers in Bainbridge Township shows lots of activity. That should mean all of these people are essential employees or people handling essential business.

Geauga County Health Commissioner Tom Quade fears that's not the case. 

"Most of the emails and frustrated phone calls we get from the public is what's essential and what's not," Quade told 3News. 

One of the busier stores we found was Home Depot, considered essential for those who many need to make repairs around the house. It's impossible to tell if the rules are being taken advantage of. 

"I get really nervous when I see folks out engaged in more social activities," Quade says.

That's what prompted him to make the below Facebook post, revealing that Geauga County has seen a 32% spike in COVID-19 cases in a day, bringing the total to 33. That's a number Quade expects to grow. 

"We saw a one day increase of 32%. There's a lot that goes behind that number. But we thought that was a number that would get people's attention," Quade says.

He adds that people can't continue to treat this virus like 'business as usual.' Instead, we all must do our part to keep it from spreading. That means cutting back on the non-essentials, golf being one of the examples Quade uses.

"The reality is that we have folks behind the scenes that if a golf course is open. They don't have a choice to stay home if they're taking care of the greens or part of course maintenance, or the cashier that's taking the payment. Everything that we do is connected to a whole lot of folks that we'll never see," Quade says.

A rise in coronavirus cases is inevitable, but it can be slowed down if we all do our part. 

"Whatever is not actively engaged in some kind of life-sustaining, life-preserving, life-protecting activity – we should really stop and take that hard look to say 'is that essential.'

Quade emphasized that it is a stay-at-home order and he hopes that people will do exactly that. He says that's the best tool we have to fight this disease.

Click here for our special coronavirus section.

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