Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley Wednesday declared a state of emergency in response to the coronavirus situation. The declaration gives the city the ability to take certain actions without going through the normal processes. It does not necessarily require other entities to take actions.
"We as a city will get through this emergency," Cranley said. "We as a country will get through this emergency. We will continue to provide basic services but there is a clear and present danger."
Cranley said the city will continue to provide basic services such as fire, police, water, sewer and trash pick-up.
People, he said, should continue to work in ways that make sense for them, their families and the people around them. That means people may need to accommodate each other and change behaviors. In his office, he said, employees will work in-person on rotating shifts so not everyone is in the office at one time.
"The facts are worrisome. People need to understand this is not a drill and there are real facts in place."
As for major events, Cranley said the city isn't canceling the Findlay Market Opening Day Parade or the St. Patrick's Day parade as of Wednesday, however, that decision could change based on decisions that could be coming from the state.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and the Ohio Department of Health Wednesday announced the fourth confirmed case of COVID-19. It is the state's first case of community spread, meaning the person, who is in Stark County, has no history of travel outside of the U.S. and no history of contact with someone who has tested positive for the disease.
A governor-ordered ban on large gatherings, including major league sporting events, is expected.
Mayor Cranley says the city is recommending that large events be canceled though that is not a requirement as of 3 p.m. Wednesday. He says the city will follow what the state decides, meaning major events like the Opening Day parade could be canceled.
Major sporting events will likely be determined by their respective leagues, though an order by the governor could also effect games.
City Council agreed to appropriate $1 million for COVID-19 response. Most of the money will be used to buy additional medical and safety supplies for first responders and health department employees. Additional funding requests are expected in the future.
Council approved a request for reports on several COVID-19 items. One of those includes reviewing the city's current sick leave policy and what steps might be considered to send non-essential employees home. Another asks what role the city should play in deciding whether major public events should be canceled and how those announcements will be communicated.
From The Ohio Department Of Health
The Ohio Department of Health created a household preparation checklist. You can download it here.