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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 Restaurants, Small Businesses Cope with Pandemic Slowdown

Crown Republic (provided)

Mandated social distancing has impacted local main streets, forcing the closure of non-essential retail businesses and limiting restaurants to carryout or delivery options only.

The restrictions created by the national, state and local governments' attempts to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus have brought to a halt what was a nascent resurgence of local downtown areas.

Popular restaurants on both sides of the Ohio River are reacting differently, with some opting for carryout or delivery options, while others shutter altogether.

Meanwhile, in downtown Covington, the city center has spent the past decade reestablishing itself as an important commercial hub in Northern Kentucky, with trendy shops, a boutique hotel, upscale lofts and destination dining establishments.

But like many main streets across the country now, traffic is slow.

Joining Cincinnati Edition are Sleepy Bee Café Executive Chef France Kroner; Crown Republic Gastropuband LosantiChef and Owner Anthony Citek; and Otto'sFrida and Larry's Owner Paul Weckman, and Renaissance Covington executive director Nick Wade.

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Michael Monks brings a broad range of experience to WVXU-FM as the host of Cincinnati Edition, Cincinnati Public Radio's weekday news and information talk show.