City of Cleveland COVID-19 Cases Increasing at Alarming Rate

The City of Cleveland is experiencing an alarming increase of COVID-19 cases. As the Omnicron variant becomes more prevalent, Mayor Frank G. Jackson recommends and encourages residents to continue adhering to health guidelines:

  • Get vaccinated. The Cleveland Department of Public Health (CDPH) offers vaccination clinics each week at various locations. To schedule an appointment or get information on CDPH vaccination events or other local vaccine providers, call the City of Cleveland’s COVID-19 Vaccine Call Center at (216) 664-2222
  • If you have not been vaccinated, continue to follow CDC guidelines:
  • Continue to wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth in public settings and anywhere you will be around other people who do not reside in your household
  • Stay 6 feet apart from others who do not reside in your household
  • Avoid crowds
  • Avoid indoor areas that are poorly ventilated
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

This recent increase of cases has impacted everyone including the City of Cleveland workforce. Please read below for more information and updates on Cleveland COVID-19 cases, preventative tips and a statement regarding EMS staff cases:

City of Cleveland Statement Regarding EMS COVID-19 Cases

Recently, the City of Cleveland has seen a significant rise in reported COVID-19 cases. Our Cleveland Emergency Medical Service members serve the public daily on the frontline of the pandemic response and have also been impacted by the virus. A total of 20 Emergency Medical Service Members are currently restricted from reporting to work due to positive COVID-19 testing, resulting in reduced deployment. The number of members reporting infection is expected to continue to increase. 

The Cleveland Emergency Medical Service will continue to prioritize calls for service, engage in dynamic deployment and work in collaboration with the Division of Fire to ensure the safety of Cleveland’s citizens. We urge everyone to take precautions to protect themselves and their families, especially during the holiday season.

COVID-19 Infection Brief

The incidence rate of COVID-19 in Cleveland has increased 420.1% over the past 6 weeks, with most of that increase occurring this past week. Since November 8th, 2021, there have been 14,211 new cases reported to the Cleveland Department of Public Health. For reference, in 2020 the cumulative total of cases did not reach 14,211 until December 10th, 2020. The Omicron variant is of particular concern as it spreads more quickly than all previous variants. Additionally, growing evidence shows that the addition of a booster vaccine provides better protection during this new surge.

Incidence rates by week

The CDC considers areas with a 7-day incidence rate over 100 new cases per 100,000 residents to be an area of high transmission. The most recent 7-day incidence rate for Cleveland is 1,590.6 new cases per 100,000 residents. Cuyahoga County currently has the highest incidence rate in the state of Ohio. 

  • Week of November 8 = 305.8 per 100,000 residents
  • Week of November 15 = 333.9 per 100,000 residents
  • Week of November 22 = 328.6 per 100,000 residents
  • Week of November 29 = 528.1 per 100,000 residents
  • Week of December 6 = 643.1 per 100,000 residents
  • Week of December 13 = 1590.6 per 100,000 residents


Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 have dramatically increased with the increase in cases. Reports of hospitalizations tend to lag several weeks behind, so it is likely the number of hospitalizations of Cleveland residents with severe illness is far greater than displayed here.

Mitigation of Transmission

  • Currently only, 43% of Cleveland residents have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Vaccination is the best way to protect against COVID-19. Being vaccinated decreases the likelihood of severe illness hospitalization or death if you get infected. Clevelanders ages 5 years and older are recommended to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible to keep from getting and spreading COVID-19. The Cleveland Department of Public Health offers first, second and booster doses to eligible adults ages 18 and older (with consent, 5 – 17 year old minors may receive the Pfizer vaccine).    Appointments are available at Mc Cafferty Health Centers located at 4242 Lorain Ave and J. Glen Smith Health Centers located 11100 St. Clair Ave.    Walk-ins are welcome.   The Cleveland Department of Public Health also hosts special community-based vaccination clinics throughout the City each month.   For information pertaining to these special vaccination events or to schedule a vaccination appointment, go to  or call 216-664-2222.
  • It is important to note that although COVID-19 vaccines are effective in preventing severe disease, studies confirm that the vaccines become less effective over time, especially in adults ages 65 years and older and at preventing infection.   That is why it is more important than ever to get a booster dose as another tool for protecting yourself against the virus.
  • Help protect yourself, your loved ones and others from COVID-19 by following the precautions listed below:
    • Monitor your health daily – Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath or other symptoms of COVID-19.  If you are ill, stay at home;   
    • Because of the high transmission rate, everyone (regardless of vaccination status) should wear a mask in indoor public places and in crowds;
    • Avoid close contact with people. Stay 6 feet away from others, especially people who are sick.  Remember that some individuals who do not exhibit symptoms may be able to spread the virus;  
    • Avoid large crowds and poorly ventilated spaces;
    • Wash your hands often or use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol;
    • Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces daily; and
    • Test to prevent the spread of the virus to others.
  • Beginning January 3, 2022, the Cleveland Department Public Health will offer free Rapid At-Home Antigen Testing Kits  at McCafferty Health Center (located at 4242 Lorain Ave) and J. Glen Smith Health Center (located 11100 St. Clair Ave) and other community agencies.   Because of the high demand for COVID testing kits, call (216) 664-2222 to check for availability.
  • Beginning December 21, 2021,  Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals will support a community COVID-19 testing site staffed by the Ohio National Guard and the Ohio Department of Health. The on-site, drive-thru testing will be located in the garage of the W. O. Walker Building in University Circle, 10524 Euclid Ave., Cleveland. The testing is free, open to everyone and individuals do not need a doctor’s order to obtain a test. The site will offer PCR tests, and individuals will receive their results in approximately 2-3 days.