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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 Public Health To Receive COVID Vaccine Next Week For Frontline Workers

coronavirus vaccine
Hans Pennink

Hamilton County Public Health is preparing to receive their first doses of COVID-19 vaccines next week.

The agency will begin receiving Moderna vaccines on Dec. 22. Health Commissioner Greg Kesterman said they will receive 1,800 doses.

"This vaccine is designated for our EMTs and paramedics within our communities," Kesterman said. "Remember that these folks are the frontline workers that show up when somebody is sick and are putting themselves at risk and have been doing so since February."

Earlier this week, the UC Medical Center received 975 doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

Weekly Cases

Hamilton County is seeing a slight slowdown in COVID-19 cases, despite still seeing more than 4,000 new cases per week.

The high plateau the county has hit has led to between 350 and 500 new cases per day. Kesterman said the county is currently dealing with roughly 12,000 active cases.

Credit Hamilton County Commission (screenshot from Dec. 16, 2020 briefing)
Hamilton County Commission (screenshot from Dec. 16, 2020 briefing)

"When you're out and about, if you’re not being careful, the chances of getting sick are extremely high right now," Kesterman said. "Use all of those tools that we've been talking about throughout the pandemic to keep you safe. We're asking you to mask, social distance, and hand hygiene."

Nearly 1,900 people have been hospitalized in Hamilton County during the pandemic. Twelve deaths from the virus have been reported within the last week.

At least 44,000 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the county since the beginning of the pandemic.

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