I’d like to remind everyone to be extra cautious at this time as new scams are popping up regularly. Scammers are contacting people claiming to be tracing COVID-19 contacts. While legitimate health agencies, including the Cuyahoga County Board of Health and the Cleveland Department of Public Health, are calling people to complete contact tracing, they will never ask for your Social Security number or bank account information. Do not click on links or respond to texts saying you have been exposed to COVID-19. Please report suspicious calls or texts to http://ConsumerAffairs.CuyahogaCounty.US or call 216-443-SCAM.
This is the 46th annual National EMS Week. In 1974, President Gerald Ford authorized EMS Week to celebrate EMS practitioners and the important work they do in our nation’s communities. EMS Week brings together local communities and medical personnel to honor the dedication of those who provide the day-to-day lifesaving services of medicine’s "front line." Even, or especially, during this time of COVID-19, EMS Week is the perfect time to recognize our EMS workers and all that they do for us and for our nation.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused major disruption in the lives of most Americans. As a reminder, some people may be eligible for help paying rent and utilities that may be a struggle for many. I have heard wonderful examples of landlords working with their tenants to help them maneuver through this challenging time. The State has encouraged lenders to provide loan relief and we are hopeful that cooperative arrangements between tenants and landlords can be reached. If you are a renter and are concerned about this issue, there are resources available to you. View and download the City of Cleveland Heights Renters Resource Guide.
As a reminder, residential customers who are facing a hardship in paying their utility bills due to the lack of income during this time should contact each utility to discuss options such as budget billing as well as energy assistance programs or other payment arrangements based on customers’ situations. Please visit www.firstenergy.com for more information. Cleveland Water is temporarily stopping and restoring disconnections. Please visit www.clevelandwater.com for more information. And Dominion Energy Ohio is also suspending service disconnections for nonpayment during the pandemic. For more information visit www.dominionenergy.com/coronavirus.
Additionally, you should have recently received your Cleveland Heights utilities bill. We understand that during this challenging time, it may be difficult for some people to make their full payment. If you are a struggling household, please call 216-291-5995 (and leave a message) so we can discuss possible special payment arrangements.
Another great resource I want to remind you about is The Legal Aid Society. They created a comprehensive resource on civil legal issues related to COVID-19. For example, the “What are Tenants Rights during COVID-19?” page clarifies which properties are covered by the federal law delaying evictions, utility protections, and more. The page “What are Worker Rights and Benefits during COVID-19?” includes information on unemployment eligibility as well as medical leave. Legal Aid also launched a Worker Information Line to support those who have questions about their rights at work or unemployment benefits. Call 216-861-5899 and leave a message with any questions. A Legal Aid staff member will return calls weekdays between 9:00am and 5:00pm within 1-2 business days. Additionally, you can view Frequently Asked Questions related to COVID-19.