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Cleveland Chinese Groups Cancelling Events For Fear Of Coronavirus

A wall of international languages welcomes visitors to the International Community Health Center run by ASIA, Inc. formerly in Asian Town Center. The new Cleveland location is at 2999 Payne Ave. [Annie Wu / ideastream]
A wall of international languages welcomes visitors to the International Community Health Center formerly located in Asian Town Center.

Chinese American organizations in Cleveland are cancelling or postponing Chinese New Year celebrations because of concern about coronavirus, said Elaine Tso CEO of Asian Services in Action, Inc.– a nonprofit health and social services group.

Tso has heard of at least 10 event cancellations, including the local Chinese Chamber of Commerce celebration at the Cleveland Museum of Art Friday.

 “We’re in the middle of Chinese New Year celebrations, and its very common for people to travel either to China or from China to the United States,” she said.

Chinese organizations are being extra cautious about having large gatherings, Tso explained.

Asian Services in Action operates two community health clinics, one in Cleveland and the other in Akron.

As of Tuesday, both sites were screening all patients for signs of coronavirus, she said.

“There has been some instances where there have been patients under investigation, meaning that they exhibit some of the symptoms,” Tso said, “but upon further evaluation they were not confirmed cases.”

About 60 percent of the patients who are treated at the community health clinic located inside Asia Plaza on Payne Avenue are Chinese, she said.


An earlier version of this story said ASIA Inc.'s community health center is located in Asian Town Plaza. That was its former location.

Marlene Harris-Taylor
Marlene is the director of engaged journalism at Ideastream Public Media.