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As a new strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) swept through the world in 2020, preparedness plans, masking policies and more public policy changed just as quickly. WVXU has covered the pandemic's impact on the Tri-State from the very beginning, when on March 3, 2020, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine barred spectators from attending the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus over concerns about the virus, even though Ohio had yet to confirm a single case of COVID-19.

Should OTR Be Open Container To Give Restaurants A Boost?

Partial closures near Findlay Market include Race Street between Elder and Findlay, Court and 9th, 6th and 5th streets.

The city of Cincinnati is closing parts of 25 streets in Over-the-Rhine and Downtown to make room for more outdoor seating at local restaurants. The move comes after Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced restaurants can begin opening for outdoor dining on Friday, May 15, and it is meant to allow for greater social distancing of diners.

Meanwhile, Cincinnati City Council Member Chris Seelbach is proposing a designated outdoor refreshment area, or DORA, for Over-the-Rhine. Milford and Wyoming already have open container districts. Seelbach says the idea is to help with social distancing and support bars and restaurants. Open container districts are not currently on City Council's upcoming agenda.

Joining Cincinnati Edition to discuss opening up Over-the-Rhine and Downtown for dining is Cincinnati City Council Member Chris Seelbach.

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Michael Monks brings a broad range of experience to WVXU-FM as the host of Cincinnati Edition, Cincinnati Public Radio's weekday news and information talk show.