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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.

Northern Kentucky Seeing COVID-19 Cases Increase

covington cincinnati
Al Behrman
The Cincinnati skyline as seen from Covington, Ky. Indiana and Ohio have shown higher COVID rates compared to Kentucky, and health officials believe the region's interconnectivity is contributing to Northern Kentucky's rising numbers.

COVID-19 cases are rising in Northern Kentucky. The region currently has more than 1,700 active cases of the virus.

Dr. Lynne Saddler, the district director for health at the Northern Kentucky Health Department, said the region being sandwiched between Indiana and Ohio isn’t helping with cases. However, the weather is also playing a role.

"As the weather gets colder and more miserable, it makes it more and more difficult to socially distance and do the other kinds of protective measures that will help prevent the spread of COVID," Saddler said.

Saddler said concerns are being raised with the approaching Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays and the large indoor gatherings that could come about.

"People are starting to plan now for what they are going to do about those holidays," Saddler said. "I would really encourage people to plan ahead and to really think through what is the safest way to celebrate this year."

The region's bordering states, Indiana and Ohio, have shown higher COVID rates compared to Kentucky. As people in Northern Kentucky can work in those states and come back home, Saddler says more cases are being seen amongst people who work and live in the region.

"We know in this region we all have to a better job 24/7 at taking the preventive measures," Saddler said. That includes wearing a mask, frequent hand washing and staying six-feet part.

COVID fatigue could also be linked to the increasing numbers. Saddler said research shows people who do not know someone who has been infected might not feel they’re in danger of catching the virus.

"Sometimes that's what it's taking for them to really use the face coverings, socially distance, manage their risks much better than perhaps they have been," Saddler said.

Kentucky's COVID-19 numbers hit record highs this past week.

Last Friday, the U.S. hit a new single-day record-high with more than 83,000 new cases being reported.

Cory Sharber attended Murray State University majoring in journalism and political science and comes to Cincinnati Public Radio from NPR Member station WKMS.