City of Cleveland Provides General Updates on Coronavirus & Safety Protocols – Update #106

The City of Cleveland continues to take numerous precautions across multiple departments and divisions amid increasing cases of coronavirus (COVID-19). Below are some important updates. Mayor Frank G. Jackson signed an order on May 26, extending the City’s Proclamation of Civil Emergency through June 30, 2020. Click here to view the order.

Essential services such as Police, Fire, EMS, waste collection and Utilities will remain operational.

8 New Confirmed Coronavirus Cases in Cleveland, 1 Death Reported

The Cleveland Department of Public Health (CDPH) has been notified of eight more confirmed test results for coronavirus in residents of the city and one new fatality. This brings the total to 1,840 confirmed cases in the City of Cleveland and 75 fatalities. The new confirmed cases include males and females whose ages range from their 20s to their 50s. The new fatality is a female in her 80s. CDPH is working to identify their close contacts who would require testing or monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms. One probable case was also identified bringing the total probable cases to 468.

As of today, there are 38,911 confirmed cases and 2,362 fatalities in the State of Ohio. There are more than 2.12 million confirmed cases and 116,700 deaths in the U.S.​​​

The City of Cleveland COVID-19 Dashboard displays the most recent preliminary data from the Ohio Department of Health about COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, deaths and recoveries in Cleveland by selected demographics. View the dashboard here. For individuals’ privacy, CDPH will not be releasing any additional demographic info related to COVID-19 cases aside from age range and gender.  

Statement on the Resignation of Safety Director Michael McGrath

Mayor Jackson today offers the following well wishes to out-going safety director Michael McGrath:

“I congratulate Michael McGrath on 48 years of public service as a police officer, as Chief of Police and as the director of the Department of Public Safety. McGrath’s career demonstrates what it means to be a true public servant. During my time as a Councilman, he was appointed by Mayor Michael White as Commander of a District that included a portion of my ward. He was appointed Chief of Police by Mayor Jane Campbell. I retained him as part of my administration because of his excellent service. He helped to develop our policies and procedures before we entered into the consent decree, many of which have helped us through the consent decree.”

On Friday at 1 p.m., a new Safety Director will be sworn in. We invite the public to watch via Facebook Live at www.facebook.com/CityofCleveland. Click here to view the farewell message McGrath sent to Public Safety employees.

Update on Temporary Outdoor Dining for Restaurants

In order to better serve restaurants and their patrons during the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Cleveland has established guidelines and regulations for permitted businesses to use private parking lots, streets and on-street parking areas as outdoor restaurant spaces as part of Mayor Frank G. Jackson’s ReStart CLE plan. This legislation provides restaurants with additional dining space that allows them to safely operate.

Businesses will need to acquire permits for outdoor dining. Permits issued for a Temporary Expansion Area may be revoked at any time for failure to comply with the provisions of this ordinance, the codified ordinances and applicable rules and regulations of the City of Cleveland or laws of the state of Ohio, including Ohio Department of Health orders. Businesses must adhere to the following regulations:

·       Permit Fee Duration: A Temporary Expansion Area permit, is valid through November 1, 2020, unless earlier terminated or revoked. No fee will be required for a TEA permit application.

·       Patio Elements: An application for a Temporary Expansion Area permit shall include detailed plans drawn to scale showing the number and location of patio elements, including standard tables, chairs, and umbrella. Additional elements such as tents, generators, and other structures may require additional approvals. All elements must remain within the approved site plan area of operation.

·       Spacing Requirements: All patio furnishing must be organized to allow for appropriate social distancing between tables in compliance with Ohio Department of Health orders.

·       Protective Barrier Structure for patio area expansion: All expanded patio enclosure areas must contain the appropriate protection between the patio area and vehicular traffic. This will require a much stronger barrier than a typical patio enclosure. The structure must be removable at the end of business hours (if necessary) or after any designated period approved as part of the application. In the case of a full street closure, or where, in the determination of the City, additional buffers are needed, the City may provide the necessary protective barrier structure at no cost.

·       Maintenance: Permittees shall maintain the TEA in accordance with all City, County, and State laws, regulations, and orders. Permittee shall be responsible for keeping the TEA clean and safe.

To learn more about the permit application process, outdoor dining and public space typologies and outdoor dining guidelines and regulations, click here.

City of Cleveland Statement on Small Box Discount Stores Recent Legislation

A moratorium was established by Cleveland City Council with the goal of preventing the proliferation of small box stores, namely dollar stores, in neighborhoods. In addition, the moratorium allows the City to outline fair and equitable policies to regulate the location of small box discount retail stores for the purpose of protecting neighborhoods from negative secondary effects created by the concentration or clustering of such businesses.  Furthermore, the regulations are established to avoid and reduce over-concentration and to maintain cleanliness for the health and safety of residents within our neighborhoods.

A look at the impact of small box stores in our neighborhoods (See maps at end of section)

Poverty:  In Cleveland, there appears to be a correlation between the population that is in poverty and the amount of small box discount stores in neighborhoods. Cleveland generally has more people living in poverty as a whole than greater Cuyahoga County – which would account for why there are approximately 70 existing small box discount stores within Cleveland proper compared to approximately 37 existing such stores in Cuyahoga County as a whole.  Many case studies show that these types of stores cluster in low-income areas which is evident in our map analysis.  You will also notice that west of Cleveland – less than or equal to 11% of the population is living below the poverty level and there is only one such store existing as of March 2020.  When looking at some of the poorer neighborhoods, you will notice – small box discount stores cluster in the Central/Kinsman area but also near Woodhill Estates between the Woodland Hills & Buckeye Neighborhoods.

Race:  This map shows that small box discount stores cluster in our predominantly African American neighborhoods. This applies to the City of Cleveland as well as our close inner ring suburbs of Warrensville Heights & Garfield Heights which both are predominantly African American.

This map also shows the distribution of full-service grocery stores or supermarkets that sell fresh produce, meats and other items.  In the Central Neighborhood – predominantly African American and where 52 to 100% of the population lives below the poverty level, you will notice there are two small box discount stores, and no full-service grocery stores.  In contrast, the University Circle neighborhood is predominantly non-Hispanic white and has one full-service grocery store and no small box discount stores.  You will also notice that across the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County – where population is predominantly non-Hispanic white – there are far more full-service grocery stores and much less, if any small box discount stores.  

This analysis corroborates case studies from across the country that also have a high prevalence of small box discount stores that cluster in low-income and predominantly African American neighborhoods and cities at a much higher rate than our non-Hispanic white and more affluent neighborhoods and towns. 

Part of Planning and Zoning’s goal is to address quality of life issues. Research shows that health status is inextricably linked to our social, economic and physical environments. Low income communities and our black and brown communities are more likely to be exposed to unhealthy conditions such as environmental pollution, neighborhood crime, low quality housing, and high concentrations of small box discount retail stores.  Small box discount stores continue to proliferate our predominantly African American and low-income neighborhoods. 

Research has shown that this is the typical business model of these types of stores while also demonstrating that saturating these types of stores within our neighborhoods makes it impossible for local existing grocery stores to compete and stay open, or for new grocers to open a store and prosper. Small Box Discount Stores usually have less than 15% of their shelf space devoted to fresh produce and generally a limited selection of processed foods.  Such proliferation of small box discount stores limit access to fresh foods and a variety of products for our most vulnerable neighborhoods. 

Overall, small box discount retailers have a profound influence on the quality of life of their surrounding neighborhoods. The links between land use and health are certain.  There is no doubt that small box discount stores cluster in our predominantly African American and low-income neighborhoods.  As planners, we must now allow “market forces” to govern zoning or planning if we wish to address health and equity within our city by adopting policies that promote healthy eating, active living, and safety.

The oversaturation of specific chains limits options for smaller mom and pop retail stores. Although we welcome investment in our city we must ensure that we are creating fair and equitable opportunities for both corporate and small local entrepreneurs.

There are several issues that prevent full-service grocery stores from locating in certain communities, crime, population, density, income, etc. There are however examples of residents defaulting to dollar stores as their only option. Dollar Stores should not be the only option in a neighborhood.

In addition to proliferation, small box discount stores generally sell packaged foods and other goods in single-serve quantities that have lower initial price points but are more expensive per ounce. Over time, consumers will spend much more money on lower quality products than what they can generally buy from a full-service grocery store or other wholesale store. Small box discount stores also generally employ fewer people at lower wages than most full-service grocery stores and profits go back to the corporation, whereas local business profits go back into the community in which they are located. Furthermore, some small box discount stores contribute to local residents’ fear of safety by being a source of trash, loitering, or graffiti – which can damage health further by discouraging residents from walking in their communities, increase safety-related stress or reduce opportunities for social interactions. 

Below are maps of small box stores in Cleveland sorted by the following information:

·       Educational attainment

·       Poverty level

·       Predominant race

Incident at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport

On Tuesday, June 16 at approximately 12:45 p.m., an airline employee notified the Airport’s Compliance office of a possible security violation that may have occurred on Saturday, June 13th.

After reviewing security footage, The Compliance officer discovered that an airline employee entered through a security door and then proceeded to their flight without submitting himself or herself to the mandatory screening at a TSA security checkpoint. Airport employees have access to security doors, however these doors are not to be used when boarding an aircraft for a flight. Any employee boarding an aircraft, must go through the security checkpoint before they fly. Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) staff immediately suspended the employees access credentials and notified TSA of the incident.  

E-Scooters Update

Each of the scooter companies submitted their COVID-19 sanitization practices to the City, and they are consistent with our cleaning requirements. Companies must also submit screenshots of the required COVID-19 messaging to riders to the City before the new permits will be issued. If companies are observed interacting with the scooters without doing the necessary sanitizing, the City has the ability to suspend or revoke a company’s permit.

Department of Public Utilities Customer Reconnection Updates

While business is operating as normal, the Public Utilities Building is closed to the public.  Cleveland Water and Cleveland Public Power have temporarily stopped disconnection of residential services for non-payment. Cleveland Water customers should call (216) 664-3130 and Cleveland Public Power customers should call 216-664-4600 for service restoration.

Cleveland Water Pollution Control (WPC) Customer Service lobby remains open to the public to purchase permits and review maps. The WPC office at 12302 Kirby Ave. is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Report emergencies 24/7 by calling (216) 664-2513. To date:

·        CPP has reconnected 121 total customers

·        CWD has reconnected 1,382 total customers

Cleveland Water customers can make payments and manage their account at myclevelandwater.com, by calling (216) 664-3130. Questions can be submitted via the inquiry form at clevelandwater.com/ask-a-question. CPP customers can make payments and manage their account at cpp.org. Inquiries and questions can be submitted via www.cpp.org/Contact

Cleveland Water and CPP customers may also use the dropbox located at 1201 Lakeside Ave. Please include name and account number along with payment. Multiple accounts must be on separate checks.

Other Important Reminders

Mayor Jackson Announces Restart CLE

         Mayor Frank G. Jackson has unveiled his strategic plan for the recovery of Cleveland’s economy amid the coronavirus pandemic. As the city began this recovery planning process, it engaged experts from Cleveland State University and local medical institutions and made a deliberate choice to build from a health and medical perspective in order to protect those at risk from the coronavirus and then incorporate economic and social support to help the people and businesses who need assistance.

View Mayor Jackson’s full plan here. 

View Mayor Jackson’s Facebook Live announcement here.

Modified Bulk Pick-Up Schedule 

Bulk pick-up has been rescheduled for the weeks of June 22, June 29, July 6 and July 13. Residents should follow [bit.ly/3c9xcxY]regular bulk pick-up guidelines. We appreciate residents’ patience as we adjust our plans to keep our workers safe through the coronavirus pandemic.

As a reminder, residents are permitted to up to three bulk items on tree lawns. More info on guidelines for proper disposal:

o   Residents may leave out for collection items such as appliances, tables, chairs, mattresses, box springs, couches and furniture.

o   All mattresses, box springs and cloth furniture must be wrapped in plastic.

o   In addition to the three items, residents may leave out up to four tires.

o   The city does not accept construction material.

o   Boxes and bags are not bulk items.

City Excise Tax Payment Extension

The City of Cleveland is extending payment deadlines for the following excise tax returns to alleviate administrative burden for businesses that are facing operational impacts from the coronavirus public health emergency:

  • Admissions tax due April 30, May 30 and June 30
  • Motor Vehicle Lessor (rental car) tax due April 30, May 31 and June 30
  • Parking tax due April 20, May 20 and June 20
  • Transient Occupancy (hotel or lodging) tax due April 30, May 31 and June 30

The Commissioner of the Division of Assessments and Licenses is authorized to extend excise tax (admissions, parking, motor vehicle lessor and transient occupancy) payment deadlines to July 20 in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Federal, state and local governments use various strategies to propose due date relief to businesses through tax guidance and legislation. This proposal extends the April, May and June excise tax payment due dates to July 20 without incurring interest and penalties. The goal is to provide cash flow flexibility to taxpayers that cannot timely pay their excise tax obligation and provide guidance to individual taxpayer(s) through administrative rulings to address issues resulting from the national pandemic on a case by case request including statutory timing deadlines of administrative processes.

County, State & Federal Updates and Reminders

Federal, State and Local Tax Deadline Extension Reminder

The Ohio House voted to extend the state’s income tax return deadline to July 15. This is the same date for local and federal taxes. View the bill summary with additional provisions here.

CodeRED

Sign up for CodeRED alerts to receive calls and emails from the administration with important info regarding Coronavirus. To sign up online, visit https://bit.ly/CLECodeRED, get mobile alerts by downloading the CodeRED app via the Apple or Google Play stores. Seniors who need assistance signing up are welcome to call the Department of Aging at 216-664-4383 for periodic phone call messaging.

Previous COVID-19 Updates from the City of Cleveland

Click here to view previous updates.

For more information about COVID-19, visit the following: