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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.

Hamilton County's COVID-19 Numbers Looking Better


Hamilton County's health commissioner said this is the fourth week in a row that he's seen many COVID-19 indicators looking very good. 

Greg Kesterman spoke with reporters Wednesday at the county's weekly press briefing.

"People out in the community are continuing to wear their masks, even maybe more now than they were just four weeks ago," Kesterman said. "In addition, the metrics that we're looking at continue to be positive."

Kesterman said there's been a significant decline in positive cases since July 8th, when a state health order required people to wear masks at indoor public places. 

Credit Provided / Hamilton County Public Health
Hamilton County Public Health

Kesterman also said hospitalizations continue to go down week over week. And while the number of weekly deaths remains elevated, those numbers are also slowly declining.

The reproductive number for the virus this week is 0.94.  Officials want that number below one, which means it's contracting and not reproducing in the community.

But Kesterman warns people need to be vigilant even as the Ohio Health Department orders allow for more activities.

"I think it's just important to remember as the director's orders become less restrictive, and more activities are permitted, this is not an indication to let our guard down," Kesterman said. "This is time to continue to work really hard so that we don't have to roll back some of these new opportunities to get life back to normal. We don't need to be afraid of one another, but we do need to work together to prevent the spread of COVID-19."

Those precautions include wearing masks, staying at least six feet apart, and staying home if you are feeling sick.

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.