CINCINNATI (FOX19) - The Hamilton County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted to declare a state of emergency due to the spread of the coronavirus.
“We want to make sure people understand that this is serious, this is a health threat in the community. We are taking prudent steps county-wide to limit exposure to the virus and lessen the negative impact to our community,” said President Denise Driehaus.
Hamilton County Public Health Commissioner Greg Kesterman recommended that residents wash hands frequently, avoid unnecessary large gatherings, and practice “social distancing.”
“We are listening to our experts on the importance of being proactive with this action,” said Commissioner Victoria Parks.
A state of emergency will help the county “streamline purchasing options and open funding streams for State and Federal Emergency Funds,” the county’s Twitter post says.
Sherry Poland with the Hamilton County Board of Elections asked county commissioners to recruit county employees to work the polls and also asked for younger people in the community to come forward.
“A vast majority of poll workers are 60, now it’s time for younger and healthier adults to take on that responsibility," she said.
A reminder that 26 polling places in Hamilton County senior living and retirement communities have been relocated to protect residents.
On Wednesday, Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley announced a state of emergency for the city.
The declaration states it’s based on “the critical need to allow the City of Cincinnati to take appropriate action to protect against the spread of COVID-19 in Cincinnati and to protect vulnerable populations in Cincinnati the Greater Cincinnati region from contracting COVID-19.”
Ohio is also under a state of emergency declared by Gov. Mike DeWine on Tuesday. The state of emergency allows state departments and agencies to better coordinate their response.
For more COVID-19 information, please visit the Hamilton County Public Health website.