The Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Day Parade offered a hint of what is happening in communities right now across the nation, and in our own back yard. Cities such as Avon Lake, Lakewood and Rocky River are rethinking popular holiday events, going virtual with most of the festivities.
They are doing the right thing. In Cuyahoga and Lorain counties, COVID-19 is as deadly as ever. Lorain County reached Code Purple, which means residents should stay at home unless it is absolutely vital to go out. As of Friday in that county, there were:
6,707 confirmed cases
463 probable cases
7,170 total cases
Age range: 3 months-103 years
7,294 total contacts quarantined
4,611 released from quarantine
1,986 actively being monitored
2,769 recovered cases
Cuyahoga County is teetering on the edge of a purple rating. The county has a “stay-at-home advisory” through Dec. 17. The Cuyahoga County Board of Health reported 3,519 new coronavirus cases among suburban residents for the week ending Nov. 21, a weekly increase of more than 300 new cases. Positivity rates also climbed for that week to 21.4%, compared to 20.5% the previous week and 14.9% the week before that. There were 20 deaths among suburban residents between Nov. 15 and 21, a decrease from the week prior, when the board reported 34 deaths.
The Board of Health released last week’s coronavirus numbers on Wednesday, ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, instead of its usual practice of releasing them every Friday. The data represents cases among all Cuyahoga County communities outside of Cleveland, which has its own health department and releases its own daily case counts. There were 23,445 reported cases among suburban residents between the start of the pandemic and Nov. 21.
Cuyahoga County reported 684 deaths due to COVID-19 between the start of the pandemic and Nov. 21.
Which brings us back to holiday celebrations. We are so proud that our communities are placing residents’ health over, well, happiness. We all love our tree-lighting celebrations and the opportunity to gather as a community. But we can’t do it. So cuddle up on your couches with loved ones and watch from the safety of your home. Follow West Life for times and dates and maybe tips on what streets have the best lights.
Be like Santa and fly above all of this. Progress with the vaccine is astounding. Months if not years ahead of schedule. For that we have to thank scientists, not politicians. We trust science and will be in line for a vaccine as soon as our turn comes.
Merry Christmas season, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. And please shop local.