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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.

Ham. Co. Employees To Return June 1 As Vaccine Efforts At Universities Get Underway

hamilton county justice center
Jason Whitman
Administrative employees at the Justice Center and other departments across Hamilton County are being asked to return to the office beginning June 1. Many county employees have been working remotely over the past year due to the pandemic.

All Hamilton County employees will be returning to work in-person by June 1. County Administrator Jeff Aloutto sent out a memo to county employees Wednesday morning about the return date. Commissioner Denise Driehaus says this could be subject to change, but there will be exceptions to who can return.

"Those that have medical reasons not to be in-person and those that have found it more advantageous to work remotely given their specific jobs, there will be exceptions made," Driehaus said.

Employees are not required to get the COVID-19 vaccine, but are strongly encouraged to do so. This decision comes as the county averages roughly 101 cases per day. At least 76,986 cases have been confirmed in the county. That's includes an increase of 715 new cases from the previous week.

College Student Vaccination Efforts

More students at Xavier University will have the opportunity to receive COVID-19 vaccinations starting Wednesday.

At least 3,500 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be given Wednesday at the Xavier Student Vaccination Clinic at the Cintas Center, which is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Jeff Coleman is the chair of Xavier's COVID-19 Task Force. He says by next week, every student will have the opportunity to be vaccinated before going home before the summer.

"It's really a great step forward in developing herd immunity, not just here locally but across the country," Coleman said.

Starting Monday morning, at least half of the doses will be available for students at the clinic and the rest will be available to the public.

From April 8-10, 10,000 second doses of the Pfizer vaccine will be administered at the mass vaccine site. This is a follow up to previous inoculations given during the site's first mass vaccinations in March. Coleman says by the end of April, at least 30,000 people will have been vaccinated at the Cintas Center.

Student vaccinations begin Saturday for University of Cincinnati students. Johnson & Johnson doses will be administered at Fifth Third Arena from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Miami University will also be offering student vaccination clinics April 10-11 and 15-16. The university is receiving 3,500 doses of the Pfizer vaccine from the state of Ohio. The second dose will be offered May 1-2 and May 6-8.

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