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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 Confirms First Cases Of COVID-19

uc health west chester
Courtesy of UC Health
UC Health's campus in West Chester.

The first cases of COVID-19 in the Greater Cincinnati area have been confirmed. UC Health reports four people tested positive in Butler County. All four were treated and released, and no other information was provided.

A statement from UC Health says medical personnel and staff at the West Chester facility are taking appropriate precautions, in accordance with CDC guidelines.

At a Thursday press conference, Dr. Dustin Calhoun with UC Health said about 80% of infected people will suffer through symptoms similar to a common cold. "Everyone in this room has gotten through a simple cold. The important thing is that we manage to maintain the functionality of our healthcare system during that so that the sicker among us can get the care that they need and those of us affected by medical conditions such as lung disease, heart problems or having a stroke or heart attack or bad trauma can get the healthcare they need in a system that isn't overwhelmed with people who don't necessarily have to be in the middle of other patients."

The release from UC continues: "If someone is experiencing symptoms, such as fever, cough and shortness of breath and have experienced some exposure risk factor such as travel or close contact with another sick person, we ask that that person call their physician's office, or the Ohio Department of Health at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634) before visiting an emergency room or a doctor's office.

This line is monitored 7 days a week from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST. As always, if someone requires a true emergency response, please call 911 or visit the nearest emergency department and upon arrival immediately advise that you believe you are experiencing symptoms before entering a crowded waiting area."

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.