Combating bed bugs for the World Choir Games

EDGEWOOD, KY (FOX19) - The World Choir Games come to Cincinnati in 47 days, and the Tri-State is doing a lot to prepare for the event that is expected to bring thousands of visitors.

Part of the preparation involves ridding area hotels of bed bugs.

The Northern Kentucky Health Department tells FOX19 three of the four hotels that have been designated as hotels for choirs and their families have had bed bug complaints within the last two years.

"Any hotel has the chance of being exposed to bed bugs because of the nature of the game, it doesn't matter how good of job you do as hotel management in addressing the issue," said Steve Divine, NKY Health Department's Environmental Health and Safety Director.

The Northern Kentucky Health Department oversees 66 hotels and motels and Divine says more than half of those establishments have had at least one bed bug complaint over the last year.

Divine says there office has been notified of four Northern Kentucky hotels that will be used for the choir games in July.

The Drawbridge Hotel had the most visitor bed bug complaints with six within the last two years.

The Hampton Inn in Covington had one complaint, the Holiday Inn Riverfront in Covington also had one complaint, and the Comfort Inn in Erlanger had no complaints.

"Both sides of the river are trying to address it aggressively," said Divine. "But having said that we expect the facilities to be proactive and have their management, cleaning staff and their maintenance staff check for those type of issues every time they're in a room."

Julie Calvert with the Cincinnati USA Convention and Visitor's Bureau says the city has been working diligently to combat the bed bug problem, and the issue expands much further than Cincinnati.

"The Cincinnati Health Department and the Greater Cincinnati Lodging Council have taken concrete steps to ensure that managers and staff of hotels, retailers, restaurants and attractions are better trained than ever in bedbug prevention, resulting in fewer reports, and, when/if they occur, more manageable incidents," said Calvert.

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