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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.

Driehaus Applauds Clarity From State On Which Businesses Can Stay Open

denise driehaus
Courtesy of
Hamilton County

Ohio's extended stay-at-home order for COVID-19 now includes a panel to decide which businesses can stay open. 

Hamilton County Commission President Denise Driehaus and others had been calling for the state to take more of a role in that process.

"I'm happy to report that the new stay-at-home order includes a dispute resolution board, which is set up at the state, which will rule on which businesses can stay open and which cannot," Driehaus said. "To avoid disconnects between county health departments and city health departments, who are tasked with enforcing the order."

Driehaus said this will be good for businesses and employees who have been struggling with this issue and provide clarity for local health departments.

"What was happening was we had businesses in one county that were allowed to stay open or being shut, and then the same kind of business in a different county being treated differently," Driehaus said. "And so, we've asked the state for some continuity, and this is their response to that."

The statewide stay-at-home order is now in effect until May 1.

Meanwhile, the county's Job and Family Service Department announced its COVID-19 Job Response program.

Interim JFS Director Tim McCartney said the $3 million effort will be "an investment into the families of this community." Each eligible family could receive a $500 check, which will be mailed in about two weeks.

The program begins Monday and families will need to fill out an online application at hcjfs.org. A JFS representative will then call for a short interview.

Jay Hanselman brings more than 10 years experience as a news anchor and reporter to 91.7 WVXU. He came to WVXU from WNKU, where he hosted the local broadcast of All Things Considered. Hanselman has been recognized for his reporting by the Kentucky AP Broadcasters Association, the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and the Ohio AP Broadcasters.