COVID-related complaints drop in Cleveland as cases spike

Cleveland officials see decrease in COVID-related complaints as coronavirus cases rapidly increase

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Despite the rapid spread of COVID-19, new numbers show Cleveland officials are actually getting fewer complaints about how the community is handling pandemic restrictions.

19 Investigates obtained new data showing the number of complaints members of the public made to either Cleveland Police or the Cleveland Department of Public Health over the last ten months.

According to a chart, the number of complaints coming in daily has dropped significantly since this summer, staying under twenty each day so far in December.

It’s unclear which category those complaints fall into, though.

The greatest number of complaints were related to mask-wearing, which was to be expected after our latest undercover investigation found several people either not wearing a mask or not wearing it correctly in local stores.

The data gives more insight into where Clevelanders say they are seeing the most COVID-19 regulation violations.

Two Home Depot stores made the list of places with ten or more complaints against them.

The business with the most complaints was Townhall in Ohio City has had the most complaints lodged against it, followed by Jack Casino and the Greater Cleveland RTA.

We reached out to each of those entities.

“In the climate of the current health pandemic, JACK Cleveland Casino has made it our top priority to provide a safe environment for our guests to enjoy. We are proud of the protocols we have put in place including enhanced deep cleaning using hospital-grade disinfectant and advanced electrostatic sprayer technology, the reconfiguration of our gaming floor to adhere to social distancing guidelines, as well as strict enforcement of the mandatory mask policy. As we review the complaints regarding guests at our property, to put them in perspective, we receive 1 complaint per 36,000 visitors. We are going above and beyond industry standards and strongly feel we are operating in a very safe environment, and will continue to do so to protect our guests and our team members,” Mark Dunkeson, Chief Executive Officer of JACK Entertainment wrote in a statement.

For its part, Town Hall said that it made sense they would have the greatest number of complaints because they are very busy.

“It makes sense that we would have the most complaints considering we are the busiest place in town. There is a big difference between complaints and violations, though. Complaints can come from competitors. We do more than any other business that we are aware of to keep our guests and team safe and healthy,” a representative wrote.

Besides masks, many Clevelanders also made 281 complaints about someone working while COVID-positive, according to the data.

Though the most complaints came in about restaurants, the second biggest category was complaints about things happening at private residences.

It will be interesting to see what those numbers reflect as restrictions grow tighter on public places, while people are trying to gather to celebrate Christmas.

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