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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.

Cincinnati City Hall To Close As COVID-19 Cases Skyrocket

As COVID-19 cases continue to skyrocket in the Greater Cincinnati area, Mayor John Cranley has announced that City Hall will close Monday. It is not clear when it may reopen.

The closing will allow for air purifiers and extra dividers to be installed in the building. Cranley said these measures are being taken to protect workers during the holiday season.

"We're going to try to lead by example," Cranley said. "I'm going to start working from home a couple of days a week. We're going to ask anyone and everyone who can work from home to do so."

It is not clear when City Hall will be reopened, as that is conditional with how the city handles COVID-19 in the upcoming weeks. Cincinnati's positivity rate is currently at 6.6%. To date, 8,731 cases have been confirmed with 124 deaths.

Hospitals Filling Up

Credit The Health Collaborative (screenshot from Greater Cincinnati Critical COVID-19 Update)
The Health Collaborative (screenshot from Greater Cincinnati Critical COVID-19 Update)

COVID-19 patients across Greater Cincinnati are filling up the region's hospitals and ICUs. This was confirmed during Friday's Greater Cincinnati Critical COVID-19 Update.


During the update, Dr. Helen Koselka voiced the stresses medical professionals are facing during the pandemic. She asked the community to help prevent the spread of the virus.

"We're tired," Koselka said. "We're tired of seeing people who are struggling to breathe. We're tired of seeing the fear on the faces. We're tired of seeing people who are passing away who were in their normal state of health just a few days prior. And now, we're seeing it more and more every day."

When asked if a curfew or city-wide shutdown could be put in place if COVID-19 cases continue to rise, Mayor Cranley says he prefers to keep the economy going.

"I predict that things will get worse before they get better, and frankly it's time for personal responsibility," Cranley said.

Credit The Health Collaborative (screenshot from Greater Cincinnati Critical COVID-19 Update)
The Health Collaborative (screenshot from Greater Cincinnati Critical COVID-19 Update)

Projections show that if things continue at the current rate, more than 800 hospital beds in the region will be occupied by December, along with nearly 200 ICU beds.

In Hamilton County, Commission President Denise Driehaus confirmed on Thursday that the week-over-week increase in new infections is over 4,000. Last week the county reported an increase of 2,000. The county's seven day average shows nearly 400 people are being infected every day.

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