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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.

Local Hospitality, Tourism Industries Prepping For Coronavirus

Duke Energy Convention Center

A spokeswoman for the Cincinnati Convention and Visitors Bureau says there are approximately 200 conventions and meetings planned locally this year, and fear of COVID-19 doesn't appear to be influencing them yet. Jenell Walton says none of the events have canceled or been postponed. She says the CVB is monitoring the outbreak and any potential impact on visitors and the region.

The Duke Energy and Sharonville Convention centers released statements saying staff are cleaning surfaces like door handles and faucet handles frequently throughout each day. Both facilities are providing additional hand-sanitizing stations.

The Cincinnati Hotel Association says hotels are playing an active role in fighting the spread of all illnesses. That statement says the lodging industry is stepping up prevention efforts, and have protocols if guests become ill or believe they have been exposed to a disease.

The Centers for Disease Control released guidance for the travel and hospitality industries on Tuesday and did not recommend canceling events. The CDC points out that as of Feb. 22, more than 32 million Americans had been infected with seasonal flu, with at least 18,000 people dying from it since October.

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.