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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.

Way We Operate Will Change Until There's A Vaccine, Mayor Cranley Says

john cranley
John Minchillo

Cincinnati's mayor said he's confident the state will reopen slowly and safely next month.

John Cranley said that's the message he's getting in daily conversations with the governor and lieutenant governor.

"It's going to prolong the economic pain," Cranley said. "I don't think there's going to be a radical opening on May 1. I think that manufacturing and things of that nature, that have a protocol in place and a plan approved by the state to be able to operate safely with physical distancing and masks and gloves and things of that nature, will be allowed on a rolling basis to open up."

Cranley, like many others, is anxious to see the reopening guidelines from the state.  The governor has indicated more details this week.

Cranley said big picture, a full reopening will depend on a vaccine for COVID-19 and testing.

"Unfortunately, until there's a vaccine, the way we do work is going to change, essentially permanently until such time we have a vaccine," Cranley said. "And so, going back to work, whether it's quick or slow, is going to be very different than what our life was like two months ago."

Cranley said the best reopening strategy will involve adequate testing, tracing the contacts of people who have tested positive, and isolating those who are sick.

He expects the state and local officials to rely on the best medical opinions and science moving forward.

Updates On Yard Waste

Meanwhile, the mayor announced the city will resume yard waste collection in the city starting May 4. It usually starts in April but has been on hold because of the pandemic.

Cranley said the Public Services Department has reassigned staff and made some changes to allow the program to begin sooner than was first announced.

The city said residents need to observe the following guidelines for yard waste:

  • Yard waste will be collected every other week on the same day as recycling
  • Yard waste must be properly prepared in paper bags or a can clearly labeled "Yard Waste"
  • Loose yard waste such as grass or leaves should be in containers that have lids or in bags that are closed to prevent blowing
  • Sticks and branches may be tied into bundles of no more than three-foot lengths and two-feet in diameter.  No tape, plastic rope or metal wire may be used to bundle
  • Yard waste containers and bags exceeding 25 lbs. in weight will not be collected

Bulk item collection remains on hold until June 1.

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.