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Cincinnati's COVID-19 Cases Increasing As State Prepares To Reopen Some Businesses Next Friday

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Courtesy of
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City of Cincinnati

In the last two days, there have been 85 new confirmed COVID-19 cases within the city of Cincinnati. The total number of cases was 381 as of Friday afternoon.

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley says the numbers are increasing, and that concerns him as Gov. Mike DeWine plans to release guidelines Monday to begin reopening some businesses starting May 1.

Cranley said he shared his concern, not as criticism but as a question, with DeWine on a conference call Friday.

"Gov. DeWine's statement in that conversation, which I thought was reasonable, was that the state is seeing a drop-in hospitalizations," Cranley said. "Hospitalization numbers are the data point that they are using to justify a change going forward."

Cranley said the city's numbers are expected to continue to climb as testing for COVID-19 becomes more available. 

Gov. DeWine announced Friday that by the end of May, Ohio should able to perform 22,000 tests a day. He said the increased testing will improve health officials' ability to identify and isolate hotspots.

Cranley also said the governor has indicated the order will not just tell people to go back to work. Cranley said it will not be a "radical order" on Monday.

"It's extremely unlikely that bars and restaurants are going to be in the first wave of reopening," Cranley said. "There are going to be requirements to wear masks inside grocery stores, and gloves, both for employees and customers. There's going to be a variety of things that are about going back to work safely and doing physical distancing at the same time."

Cranley said what he's hearing is extremely encouraging compared to some states "who are saying go back to life like it was, which seems very reckless," and other states "that seem stuck in a permanent shutdown because they don't have testing, contact tracing and are still dealing with hospital issues."

The mayor said even businesses that have remained open during the state's stay-at-home order will have to add additional safety measures including masks and gloves.