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Cincinnati Rescinds Public Distancing Rule Amid DeWine's Stay-Home Turnabout

coronavirus smale park
Courtesy of Jason Whitman
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Ignoring social distancing protocol and regulations, people have taken to tearing down the caution tape that once cordoned-off public swings along the Ohio River at Smale Waterfront Park in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic on May 16, 2020.

It's unclear what Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine's Tuesday turnabout means for cities like Cincinnati.

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley and Health Commissioner Melba Moore are starting by rescinding Cincinnati's rule requiring six feet of distance.

"I would like a couple days to review everything," Cranley said during a City Council meeting shortly after the governor's Tuesday briefing. "We haven't seen the documents - what it all means - but it's obviously going to have a significant impact on all of us going forward. I am going to rescind today the order related to prohibiting any gatherings of people in public space ... six feet apart."

To clarify, the mayor's order only rescinds the requirement that people in public in Cincinnati stay six feet apart.

DeWine unexpectedly cut short the state's stay-at-home rules. Ohioans are instead encouraged to stay home but can do as they please.

"(The distancing ban) probably wasn't enforceable once the last amendments were made but certainly now it would be totally unenforceable and would put us at unnecessary liability and our (police) officers in an impossible situation," Cranley continues.

He says he needs more information but expects other pandemic-related rules may also be rescinded or canceled.