CLEVELAND, Ohio – Cleveland’s spike in COVID-19 coronavirus cases that has set daily records twice since Thursday has its roots in the days immediately after the Black Lives Matter protest on May 30 in downtown, Public Health Director Merle Gordon said Monday.
Addressing a City Council committee, Gordon said the onset of cases that are part of the current spike was about June 3 and 4, about the same time the city lifted its daytime travel restrictions in downtown and Ohio City.
But Gordon did not tie the onset to the protest, a rally organized by Black Lives Matter that Cuyahoga County’s sheriff estimates involved 3,000 to 4,000 people and later devolved into rioting downtown.
Rather, she said it is more related to people getting out and socializing.
“We do ask each individual in the contact tracing if they did attend a mass event, a rally of some sort, … so we can see whether there is some affiliation,” Gordon said.
“We don’t get many of those responses,” she said. “What we’re starting to see right now, which is a more concerning trend, is how many people who have indicated that they have traveled – perhaps traveled to a beach, eaten out. A lot of nightclubs have reopened, so people tend to relax the wearing of face coverings or how close they are getting to others.”