Cuyahoga County and the city of Cleveland have issued a stay-at-home advisory beginning the evening of Nov. 18 in an attempt to stop the large increase in COVID-19 cases.

At a joint press conference Nov. 18, the county and city announced the advisory to try to stem the “dramatic” spread of COVID-19 cases, according to county Board of Health Commissioner Terry Allan. The advisory will be in effect until Dec. 17, and that date could be changed depending on progress. 

Under the resolution, residents are advised to only leave their home to go to work or school, or for essential needs such as seeking medical care, purchasing essential items from a grocery store or pharmacy, picking up prepared food or receiving deliveries, the advisory said. Residents are also strongly advised to avoid traveling in and out of the state, and forgo having guests in their homes or residences during the upcoming holiday season.

County Executive Armond Budish said modeling data suggests the county will hit 1,000 cases a day next week if something isn’t done now. The Cuyahoga County Board of Health has reported between 500 and 600 new COVID-19 cases a day over the past week. 

“I know we are all tired of this, but we can’t let up now,” Budish said. “More Ohioans have died of COVID-19 than in the Korean and Vietnam wars put together."

He pleaded for residents to stay home – including on Thanksgiving – and wear a mask and wash their hands.

“I know this is such a hard time to ask you to stay home … but please, let’s take the long view,” he said.

Allan said the county's positivity rate for COVID-19 tests administered is at 15% and climbing. There were already 50 deaths in the county board of health’s jurisdiction in November, he said.

Allan said to assume everyone you come into contact with is positive for the virus, including yourself because spread is so severe. Allan also asked all employers to attempt to accommodate employees working from home.

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson told residents if they must go out, they should wear a mask "constantly" and keep social distance.

“Stay at home unless you have to go out,” he said. 

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