A Letter from the Director of the Cleveland Department of Public Health
To the editor:
Dear Cleveland Residents and Visitors:
(Plain Press, April 2020) As you are all aware, the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) has spread across the globe and throughout the U.S., including in Ohio. On March 14th, 2020, Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson announced the first confirmed case here in the City of Cleveland.
While the Mayor and Ohio Governor Mike DeWine have already made announcements that will temporarily change our day-to-day lives, I want to assure you that the Cleveland Department of Public Health is working tirelessly to try to keep as many people healthy as possible. Along with our partners, we are also working alongside of the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to closely monitor COVID-19 and employee containment and mitigation strategies.
We understand that these are challenging times and that it’s natural for people to ask what they can do to protect themselves and those around them.
We ask that you heed to any orders that are made by the Mayor and the Governor, such as banning gatherings of 100 or more people and closing bars and restaurants, as this is being done to preserve the health of our friends and family.
If you develop a fever and have a dry cough or are experiencing shortness of breath, please call your healthcare provider immediately BEFORE you visit an emergency department or doctor’s office.
In addition to those measures, you are encouraged to take everyday precautions to prevent illness, including colds and the flu: Please stay at home if you are feeling sick. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If hand washing facilities are unavailable, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. Avoid shaking hands or hugging when you greet someone. Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your sleeve on the inside of your elbow. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects such as doorknobs, light switches, tables, countertops, chairs, phones, remotes, keyboards, and touchscreen electronic devices. Get a flu shot — it’s not too late.
For additional up-to-date information, visit: CDC Novel Coronavirus Information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html. CDC Travel Guidance: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html. ODH Coronavirus Information: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov.
Merle R. Gordon, Director
Cleveland Department of Public Health