Mayor Frank Jackson addresses the media (3/11/20).
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson announced at a press conference Friday that the city will temporarily halt all water and electric power shutoffs and will restore service to those whose water and power have been disconnected. These actions follow others undertaken by the city to reduce the spread and mitigate the severity of the novel coronavirus, which causes COVID-19.
The city's Chief Operation Officer, Darnell Brown, said that the order was now in effect for both the Cleveland Water Department and Cleveland Public Power, the city's electric utility, and that there would be no new shutoffs. He said a release would be distributed shortly with a contact number so that those without water or power could call to get their service restored "in a timely manner."
These temporary shutoffs will not apply to electric customers with FirstEnergy. Jackson joked that people were welcome to call the private utility to see what they had to say.
Additionally, Jackson announced that a travel ban for all city employees had been instituted, and travel for the city's AAU basketball teams would be suspended until further notice. All events at the city-owned Highland Park golf course and its banquet hall have been temporarily canceled as well.
Jackson commended the many local organizations that have made difficult decision to postpone or cancel events and continued the call to adhere to Gov. Mike DeWine's order restricting gatherings of 100 or more people. He said that all events for senior citizen at city rec centers have been canceled and that further action is being considered, in light of the pending three-week school closure.
The City's Director of Public Health, Merle Gordon, said that additional information regarding drive-through testing for COVID-19, which is being planned in coordination with the County and local hospital systems, would likely be forthcoming within 48 hours.
The Cleveland Clinic's CEO, Tomislav Mihaljevic, announced Friday morning that the hospital discovered five new cases of COVID-19 on their first day of internal testing Thursday. Ohio's Public Health Director, Mary Acton, announced Friday afternoon that there are now 13 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the state, and that 159 people are now under investigation.
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