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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.

NKY COVID-19 Cases Rising, Virus Spreading Rapidly In Communities

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One doctor said the region may be seeing more hospitalizations due to "COVID fatigue," where people are tired of being cooped up and careful.

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the country, Northern Kentucky has been hit really hard as of late. The region now has 100 deaths from the virus.

The region set a new daily case record earlier this week, with 309 cases being reported on Tuesday. The upcoming Thanksgiving holiday is causing concern about an elevated risk of contracting the virus.

Dr. Lynne Saddler is the district director of health for the Northern Kentucky Health Department. She said the region is seeing more hospitalizations which could be due to COVID fatigue.

"You can't ignore the virus," Saddler said. "You can't live in denial because this virus is here; it's spreading rapidly in our communities, in our businesses, in our schools, in every sector of the community."

Saddler said she did not want the region heading into the peak of the pandemic during a holiday and said we need to rethink how we celebrate during this time.

"It needs to look very different," Saddler said. "It cannot be business as usual, and I know we've got creative and innovative people here in Northern Kentucky. I saw on Facebook all the different ways that people came up with trying to keep trick-or-treaters safe. We have that capacity."

Northern Kentucky has more than 7,000 confirmed cases, with more than 2,000 of them being active.

Saddler said following the correct guidelines are more critical as the region heads into the Thanksgiving holiday.

NKY Health is urging people to wear masks, socially distance and avoid large gatherings.

Cory Sharber attended Murray State University majoring in journalism and political science and comes to Cincinnati Public Radio from NPR Member station WKMS.