Medical expert warns of potential COVID case surge as crowds fill downtown Cleveland

Published: Aug. 28, 2021 at 12:39 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 28, 2021 at 12:40 AM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - As more and more school districts take precautions to slow the spread of Covid-19 and the Delta variant, the crowds converging on downtown Cleveland for at least three major events on Friday night were out in full force.

More than 20,000 packed Progressive Field as the Cleveland Indians played host to the Red Sox. There was the Tennis in the Land Event in the Flats with women’s players from all over the World and the music event Summer Jam 2021 at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse.

Garvin Carrington from Avon, who talked to 19 News before the baseball game, said venturing out is a delicate balance between safety and normalcy, “It’s important for the kids they’ve been on these weird schedules all year since Covid started, and so it’s trying to get back to normal. But we’re attending the open-air event equipped with masks. If we need to and we feel not too comfortable, we’ll wear them.”

19 News talked to local infectious disease specialist Doctor Claudia Hoyen with University Hospitals to find out how people can still get out and enjoy their daily lives while also staying safe.

“It’s important for people to remember we are doing this for the children now. They’re our most vulnerable population because many of them don’t have the option to be vaccinated,” Doctor Hoyen said.

She also emphasizes that it’s still important to revert back to things we are already used to after more than a year and a half, and that means masking up even outdoors if you’re within three feet of others and social distancing as much as possible.

Doctor Hoyen said as infection numbers climb, she feels Northeast Ohio’s surge could come in the next few weeks, “I really think we’re starting to see the beginning in what might be a surge here in Northeast Ohio. Over the last couple of days at Rainbow, we’ve certainly had a couple of more patients than we have had over the last few weeks, and I think, especially with school starting in the last week or two, I think things will probably start to change in the next few weeks. Especially since there are some areas where the schools aren’t necessarily having every child wear a mask. And so I think this year, unlike last year in schools, we will actually see spread within the schools.”

The reason some of our neighbors and friends continue to mask up when going out even if they’re vaccinated. Many say open-air events like baseball are best, but Doctor Hoyen tells 19 News if you’re outside and within three feet of others, it’s probably a good idea to wear a mask and social distance as much as possible.

Doctor Hoyen believes Northeast Ohio could be seeing the beginning of the surge, at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital over the last few days, they’ve had more patients than they’ve seen over the last few weeks.

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