Herald Staff Writer
A day after Cuyahoga and Medina counties issued sternly worded stay-at-home advisories due to the recent surge in coronavirus cases, Summit County has followed suit.
Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro and Health Commissioner Donna Skoda issued the advisory the morning of Nov. 19, urging “all residents to stay at home to the greatest extent possible due to the rise of COVID-19 cases in Ohio. The virus surged through the month of October and a full one-third of Ohio’s total cases since the beginning of the pandemic have occurred since Nov. 1.
“We are quickly approaching a tipping point in the county and state,” Shapiro said in a prepared statement. “We must take collective action beginning today. If we do not, we are putting the lives of our friends, family and neighbors at risk and threatening the ability of our hospitals to provide care to patients. We have all made immense sacrifices this year. We are all feeling exhausted but I am asking the residents of Summit County to continue to prioritize the health and safety of our community.”
In practical effect, the advisory simply puts a more urgent tone on existing guidance. Citizens are asked to go out only if absolutely necessary and refrain from gathering with people who aren’t in their immediate household. When out, they are asked to maintain six feet of distance from other people, stay outdoors as much as possible, wear a mask indoors, wash hands frequently and use hand sanitizer in between. Employers are encouraged to use remote working where possible and businesses and government are advised to move as much as possible online. Schools will continue to monitor cases in the school and community.
“We are seeing an alarming trend in both the number of cases and the positivity rate of COVID-19 in Summit County,” Skoda said. “We have to change our behaviors and routines to slow the spread of this disease in our community. Please stay home as much as possible. If you have to leave your home, wear a mask and distance from others.
The advisory is in effect through Dec. 16, although they held out the possibility of an additional advisory in the interim.