No increase in Cuyahoga County COVID-19 cases due to concerns elsewhere over new variant
No increase in Cuyahoga County COVID-19 cases due to concerns elsewhere over new variant

No increase in Cuyahoga County COVID-19 cases due to concerns elsewhere over new variant

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Rising cases of COVID-19 are causing concern in parts of the United States, but not locally, Cuyahoga County health officials said Wednesday.

None COVID-19 deaths have been reported in Cuyahoga County over the past three weeks, the county’s health director for epidemiology, surveillance and computer science Jana Rush said during a media briefing Wednesday.

Cuyahoga County has a low level of community transmission of COVID-19 and has an average of 50 new cases a day, Rush said. Covid-19 positivity rates have been declining for more than 10 consecutive weeks, and less than 2% of hospital beds are in use by COVID-19 patients in the county.

Nevertheless, a new variant has arrived. The BA.2 omicron variant of COVID-19 now accounts for 85% of new infections locally and nationally, Rush said. It is now the dominant variant circulating throughout the United States.

The World Health Organization follows BA.2 as a variant of concern. BA.2 is more transmissible but not more severe than omicron.

The county’s COVID-19 dashboard will now be updated weekly on Fridays before noon. 14. This brings the county’s dashboard in line with the state’s COVID-19 dashboard, which is updated weekly on Thursdays.

A new interactive data tool on the website shows county vaccination status by zip code.

The media briefing was likely the last for Cuyahoga County Health Commissioner Terry Allan, who retires Friday, April 29, after 18 years as health commissioner.

His successor is Rod Harris, former Deputy Director of the Allegheny County Health Department in Pennsylvania.

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