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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.

Tristate Strong: Getting to Zero

From our John Kiesewetter: Getting to Zero

From Cincinnati Edition: Getting to Zero


TriState Strong: Getting to Zero
December 10, 2020 7pm-8pm
(CINCINNATI, OH) Six local television, radio and print news outlets are uniting to present an hour-long program created to generate hope and solidarity among regional residents facing the harshest season of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“TriState Strong: Getting to Zero” will run simultaneously on all outlets at 7 pm December 10. It is produced by The Regional COVID Communications Center (RC3) and generously supported by Procter & Gamble.

The program will be shared on TV by WCPO 9, WKRC Local12 and CETConnect/Think-TV. It will stream on The ENQUIRER/cincinnati.com, and 91.7 WVXU Cincinnati Public Radio, wvxu.org.   Radio One stations (101.1FM The Wiz, 100.3FM Cincinnati’s R&B station, and The Buzz 1230AM and101.5 FM) are also in partnership with this initiative.

This first-of-its-kind media event convenes leaders in business and healthcare, plus front-line hospital workers, local celebrities and respected voices in education, sports, the arts, and faith-based organizations to share an urgent message with the public.

The unifying message: Everyone can do something to help reach zero positive cases, zero hospitalizations, zero closures, zero deaths.

Additional participants will include staff and patients from Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, the University of Cincinnati Medical Center/UC Health, Mercy Health, and St. Elizabeth Healthcare.

The program includes no politics and no hype, just well-known local people sharing their experiences and advice. Among them are Radio One’s Lincoln Ware and WLW’s Mike McConnell, the Rev. Damon Lynch III, Hamilton County Coroner Dr. Lakshmi Sammarco, Cincinnati Reds COO Phil Castellini, and iconic West-side restaurateurs Mike and Mark LaRosa. 91.7 WVXU News Director Maryanne Zeleznik shares her thoughts on covering the news during a pandemic with reporters working from home.

Since the Regional COVID Communications Center was created in July, Executive Director Regina Carswell Russo has led efforts to create culturally competent messaging about COVID and health protocols. The RC3 has reached hundreds of thousands of people in the region, and this is the latest effort to help unify our region around a goal of defeating COVID.  

“Extraordinary times calls for extraordinary measures," Carswell Russo said. "Journalists and our local media have been a powerful force in helping our region navigate this year. And now they are pulling that power together to set the region’s eyes on a common goal, Getting to Zero and getting through the next few months so we can live, work, and play safely. We are overwhelmed at how many people jumped at the idea of participating.”


The Regional COVID Communications Center (RC3), created by the RESTART Task Force, is a partnership between the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, the CBC/CRBC, and The Health Collaborative. The RC3 is an ongoing campaign that shares culturally competent and equitable information about COVID-19 prevention, community spread, testing availability and other critical news to help individuals and businesses live, work and play safely through stages of this pandemic.