Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
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.

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

coronavirus smale park
Courtesy of Jason Whitman
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He says he needs more information but expects other pandemic-related rules may also be rescinded or canceled.

Senior Editor and reporter at WVXU with more than 20 years experience in public radio; formerly news and public affairs producer with WMUB. Would really like to meet your dog.