Mayor Cranley: 'There's No Question There Will Be More Positive Cases' Of COVID-19

Mar 13, 2020

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley said Friday it was only a matter of time before there were local cases of COVID-19 - the city now has four. He said there will be more in the coming days.

Four patients with the virus were treated at UC Health in West Chester and then discharged to recover at home.

"There's no question that there's going to be more positive cases," Cranley said. "I mean, the governor said to me on the phone just an hour ago, that the four that are diagnosed today will probably not even make news a week from now, based on the rate at which they expect positive cases to come out."

Cranley again recommends people wash their hands frequently, practice social distancing, and avoid large gatherings.  

He said people with symptoms who think they could have COVID-19 should call their primary care doctors or health department hotlines first, instead of going to nearby doctors' offices or hospitals.

The mayor said the city will still focus on delivering basic service including police, fire, water, sewer and garbage collection.

Cranley said in the coming weeks and months city departments could also do things beyond those basic services.  That could include delivering food to students and senior citizens.

"The government is going to stay open and we have a lot of employees," Cranley said. "Everyone is going to have a very important job for the next three to four months, and we will, on a flexible basis, convert people to do what's necessary to help homeless shelters, to help kids get fed from the school lunch program, and to help senior citizens."

Cranley is expected to provide updates on the city's response to COVID-19 throughout the coming weekend.

Meanwhile,  Cincinnati area places of worship have differing plans for weekend services in light of COVID-19. 

Some are canceling all events and encouraging their members to watch services online.  

Rabbi Lewis Kamrass is with Wise Temple. He spoke at a press conference with other community faith leaders gathered by Mayor Cranley.

"To be able to say, and to encourage people to stay at home, to use the streaming video," Kamrass said. "If your own congregation doesn't have that capability, then certainly there are other congregations of your own particular faith that will offer that."

Pastor Brian Tome is with Crossroads Church. They've canceled all weekend events.

"Some people would say, 'Oh no, you're giving into fear.' No, that's giving into love," Tome said. "We want to love people by not spreading a virus. Some people might say, 'Well you're looking weak.' No, we're showing that we're being powerful because we're not ruled by fear.  And we're all making some bold decisions."

Other houses of worship are moving forward but taking extra precautions and asking members who are sick to stay home.  

In Northern Kentucky, the Covington Diocese has indicated no weekend masses will be canceled.