City provides general updates on Coronavirus (COVID-19) protocols -Update #2
Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson today gathered leaders from Cleveland Clinic, MetroHealth Hospital, St. Vincent Charity Medical Center, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, City Council President Kevin J. Kelley, safety and health department representatives and planners from the St. Patrick’s Day and Cleveland International Film Festival planning committees for a press conference regarding COVID-19. Click here to view video of today’s event.
The City is taking numerous precautions across multiple departments and divisions amid increasing cases of COVID-19. There are three confirmed cases of the virus in Cuyahoga County, and a total of four in the state, but no confirmed cases within the City of Cleveland at this time.
The City continues to work in partnership with local safety agencies, county public health, county emergency management and area hospitals to ensure proper coordination with and adherence to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. The City’s overall emergency preparedness plans are also being adjusted due to multiple unknowns about the coronavirus.
Proclamation of Civil Emergency
Mayor Jackson has announced a Proclamation of Civil Emergency. As a result, the City has formed an internal Civil Emergency Executive Policy Group. This group exists as part of the City’s emergency operations center and oversees conditions during a civil emergency. It also makes recommendations on additional actions necessary to minimize the adverse impact of the civil emergency, including the amendment of city rules and procedures. Click here to view the mayor’s declaration.
Planned Activities and Large Events
The City of Cleveland has been working with the 2020 St. Patrick’s Day committee and the Cleveland International Film Festival and each event is now canceled. The City is also recommending event planners consider canceling their events and if events aren’t canceled, that attendees carefully consider whether or not to attend.
The City affirms – in accordance with Centers for Disease Control guidelines –that when there is a gathering of people, there is an opportunity for the spread of the virus.
The City administration is simultaneously looking into city-sponsored gatherings such as large meetings to determine if those should be adjusted or postponed. View guidelines from the CDC regarding mass gatherings and video from Governor Mike DeWine regarding COVID-19. Click here download the governor’s executive order.
Emergency Operations Center/Joint Information Center
To assist in coordinating City operations, Cleveland has partially activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and Joint Information Center (JIC). The EOC/JIC will operate during business hours beginning Thursday, March 12 from 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. All media inquiries regarding COVID-19/novel coronavirus should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or 216-664-7348. In addition, the City of Cleveland is working with the Cuyahoga County Office of Emergency Management to coordinate broader regional messaging.
The Division of Emergency Medical Service (EMS) responded to an address in the 2600 block of Central Avenue today for a patient reporting possible COVID-19 symptoms and exposure. EMS members followed protocol regarding personal protective procedures. The adult male patient was transported to MetroHealth Medical Center for treatment. EMS workers have not encountered any credible COVID-19 cases.
All members of EMS, Police and Fire will follow procedures regarding personal protective equipment if they respond to any assignments pertaining to the COVID-19 virus or other infectious diseases Click here to download the COVID-19 protocols from the Cleveland Department of Public Safety.
Sanitizing Public Spaces
The City is advising all organizations, public and private, to review their operations and sanitation practices as well as and how they disseminate information to employees.
General Facts About Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new virus strain spreading from person-to-person in China and other countries, including the United States. Health experts are concerned because little is known about this new virus and it has the potential to cause severe illness and pneumonia in some people. No cases of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) have been reported in Cleveland. Visit www.Coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4ASKODH for additional information.
- How does COVID-19 spread?
Health experts are still learning the details. Currently, it is thought to spread through the air by coughing or sneezing, by close personal contact, touching an object with the virus on it and then touching mouth, nose or eyes and in rare cases contact with feces.
- How severe is COVID-19?
Experts are still learning about the range of illness from COVID-19. Reported cases have ranged from mild illness to severe pneumonia requiring hospitalization. So far, deaths have been reported mainly in older adults who had other health conditions.
- What are the Symptoms?
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing. The symptoms can be mild or severe.
- Who is at risk for COVID-19?
To minimize the risk of spread, health officials are working with healthcare providers to promptly identify and evaluate any suspected cases. Travelers to and from certain areas of the world may be at increased risk. Although coronavirus originated geographically in Wuhan, China, the disease is not specific to any ethnic group. Chinese ancestry – or any other ancestry – does not make a person more vulnerable to this illness.
- How can I prevent from getting COVID-19?
If you are planning to travel, please follow the CDC’s guidance: www.cdc.gov/travel
There are steps you can take to prevent the spread of flu and common cold which will also help to prevent coronavirus:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. If hand washing facilities are not available, use hand sanitizer
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
- Avoid contact with people who are sick
- Stay home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others
- Cover your mouth/nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing
Currently, there are no vaccines available to prevent COVID-19 infections. Additionally, the CDC, U.S. Surgeon General and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommend that face masks are only worn by health workers and those caring for someone in close settings to help prevent the spread of disease to others. Face masks should not be worn if you are well.
- How is COVID-19 treated?
There are no medications specifically approved for coronavirus. Most people with mild coronavirus illness will recover on their own by drinking plenty of fluids, resting and taking pain and fever medications. However, some cases may develop pneumonia and require medical care and hospitalization.
For more information about COVID-19, visit the following links: