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Cuyahoga County Sees Spike In Winter-Related Deaths

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner is issuing a public health warning for residents to stay safe and protect themselves from harsh winter conditions. This month, the county saw its most fatal period of winter-related deaths since 2009.

At least seven people have suffered winter-related deaths since Feb. 1, according to a press release. Five of those deaths occurred within five days. In the same period of 2020, the county saw just one winter-related death.

“There has been a spike in cold-related deaths, particularly in the last week. Most of these individuals lacked working heat in their residence,” Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas Gilson said in the release. “The county can assist with this issue and other programs related to the cold.”

Residents should check on neighbors, particularly the elderly, during the ongoing cold weather conditions, Gilson said.

The county is reminding residents of resources available to help with heat and other resources during the current cold snap. That includes the county Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) and state HEAP Winter Crisis Program, Cuyahoga County Office of Homeless Services and Division of Senior and Adult Services, and community 211 line.

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio also issued its annual Winter Reconnect Order, allowing residential customers facing disconnection to pay a flat fee to restore or maintain service.

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