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April 17, 2020 Media Briefing Recap


Media contact:
Joint Information Center: JIC@cuyahogacounty.us; 216-443-5245

CUYAHOGA COUNTY, OH — Today the Cuyahoga County Board of Health held their media briefing regarding COVID-19 at their offices at 5550 Venture Drive, Parma, Ohio 44130 at 8:45 a.m. The next briefing will take place Tuesday, April 21 at 8:45 a.m. The briefings will continue until the COVID-19 situation no longer merits regular messaging.

Below are points discussed by County Executive Armond Budish, Board of Health Commissioner Terry Allan and Board of Health Medical Director Dr. Heidi Gullett:


  • As of this morning, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Cuyahoga County, excluding the City of Cleveland, is 927. The date of onset ranges from February 29 to April 13 with an age range of one week old to 101 years old. There are 43 deaths in Cuyahoga County to date, with an age range of 46 to 93 years old.

Small Business Stabilization Fund

  • County Executive Armond Budish announced the launch of the Small Business Stabilization Fund, the first-ever small business coalition of funders and partners in the county.
  • Executive Budish committed $500,000 to the creation of this Fund to support small, neighborhood-based businesses through grants and loans throughout Cuyahoga County during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • This Stabilization Fund complements the County’s Small Business Resource Center website and its call center, which has received more than 375 calls from business owners. The Small Business Resource Center is still taking calls and answering questions for business owners about options available to them at 216-452-9714.
  • Grant funds available total $500,000, and loan funds committed to date total more than $3.5 million.
  • The County Stabilization Fund page has eligibility and process information for these grants and loans. Small business owners interested in applying for a grant or loan should fill out the Business Assistance Application on the Stabilization Fund webpage.

Cuyahoga County Data

The following data was presented by Dr. Heidi Gullett and can be found on the Board of Health’s website:
  • 9-17 percent of COVID-19 tests conducted have tested positive, with a high focus on hospitalized patients and healthcare workers/first responders who become symptomatic
  • 24 percent of confirmed cases have been hospitalized
  • 9 percent of confirmed cases have had ICU admissions
  • 28 percent of infections are among healthcare workers
  • 62 percent of med/surge adult units have been utilized
  • 35 percent of pediatric units have been utilized
  • 63 percent of critical care units have been utilized
  • 29 percent of ventilators have been utilized

To date, the Cuyahoga County Board of Health has issued:

  • 1,263 isolation orders
  • 2,244 quarantine orders
  • 224 cases have been cleared.

Race and Ethnicity Data

Below is the breakdown of those who have tested positive by their race and ethnicity:
  • 50 percent white
  • 30 percent black
  • 14 percent unknown
  • 5 percent other
  • 69 percent Non-Hispanic/Latino
  • 21 percent unknown
  • It is important to understand how race and ethnicity have come into play in Cuyahoga County since before COVID-19. Communities of color have different opportunities that relate back to systems, structures and bias that have been in place for many, many years. The Board of Health has spent the past decade trying to better understand how different opportunities emerge for populations of color in Cuyahoga County.
  • Health Improvement Partnership-Cuyahoga (HIP-Cuyahoga) has brought together many local organizations to help learn about racial equity and how to come together to make sure everyone has an opportunity to thrive here—through the economy, jobs, food, exercise, etc.
  • One of the Board of Health’s priorities is to eliminate structural racism to make sure everyone has an equal opportunity to reach their potential. We can tackle something much better together than as individual organizations.

Governor’s Press Briefing

  • Yesterday, Governor DeWine announced that the process of returning Ohioans to work and community life will begin on May 1.
  • While we will not be going back to the normal that we all once knew, we will begin to construct the new approach to living with COVID-19. While we do not know any specifics regarding the Governor’s plan, we do know that it is critical to address this return in a graduated and cautious manner.
  • Our new normal will probably include wearing masks, practicing social distancing, and limiting mass gatherings until a vaccine becomes available.

The Board of Health is following the lead of the Ohio Department of Health and the CDC.

To access the Cuyahoga County Coronavirus Help Line, call 440-59-COVID (440-592-6843).

For information from the Board of Health, visit https://www.ccbh.net/.

For information from the CDC, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html.

For information from the Ohio Department of Health, visit https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/ or call 1-833-4-ASKODH (1-833-427-5634).