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Cincinnati's busy weekend unlikely to lead to more COVID cases locally, health commissioner says

Goetta Fest in 2021. The event took place this weekend, along with the Cincinnati Music Festival and more.
Glier's Goetta
Goetta Fest in 2021. The event took place this weekend, along with the Cincinnati Music Festival, Reds' home games, Festival 513 and the Cincinnati Opera's Summer Festival.

Hamilton County's health commissioner doesn't think this weekend's events will lead to a larger outbreak of COVID. Greg Kesterman says Hamilton County's level of community spread rose to "high" by the CDC's standards this past Thursday.

“Over the last couple of years we’ve seen a lot of outdoor events not be the source of any significant spread," he said. "COVID-19 really likes those indoor environments where you can see an increase in viral load in the air. So we’re hopeful and optimistic that we won’t see any crazy increases after this weekend.”

Kesterman made his remarks Friday.

This past weekend the Cincinnati Music Festival brought tens of thousands of people to the area. There were also Reds' home games, Festival 513, Goetta-Fest and the Cincinnati Opera's Summer Festival.

About 70% of Hamilton County residents above the age of 30 are vaccinated, according to Kesterman.

“Seventy percent is the national goal for vaccinations,” he says. “We are really pushing our population to get even higher so that we have a little greater herd immunity here in our community. In addition to vaccinations, we know that if you get COVID-19 you do some immunity from some future strains of COVID. We’re hoping between all that, we continue to see our cases not skyrocket like we did earlier, at the beginning of the year.”

According to the CDC, a "high" level means new cases are climbing, more people are hospitalized and more in the ICU. Kesterman says as of Friday, Hamilton County had about 245 new cases per day. About 200 people were hospitalized and 25 were in intensive care.

Bill Rinehart started his radio career as a disc jockey in 1990. In 1994, he made the jump into journalism and has been reporting and delivering news on the radio ever since.