Cincinnati ramping up efforts to enhance contact tracing, mayor says

Health experts, state lawmakers say more needs to be done for COVID-19 testing and contact...
Health experts, state lawmakers say more needs to be done for COVID-19 testing and contact tracing(Emily Wakeman)
Updated: Jul. 31, 2020 at 10:19 AM EDT
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Mayor John Cranley says the city and the health department are ramping up efforts to enhance local contact tracing.

The Cincinnati Health Department says they’re bumping up local numbers to 59 individuals working specifically on contact tracing, which will be key to limiting community spread of COVID-19.

Health Commissioner Melba Moore said there are 3,942 cases in the city with the median age of 36. 2,002 have recovered.

Cranley noted that the mask mandate is working.

“Our numbers are coming down. The mask is working. Wear your mask,” he said.

Cranley listed the places in the city that have had the most complaints for overcrowding and no masks.

  • The Pirate’s Cove
  • Mt. Lookout Tavern
  • Animations
  • Oak Tavern
  • Andy’s Café

The Ohio Liquor Control Commission voted to halt the sale of alcohol at bars and restaurants at 10 p.m.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine is expected to sign the order to take effect Friday.

Patrons can order drinks before 10 p.m. and continue to drink until 11 p.m., under the order.

It covers all places that sell alcohol.

Chief Isaac said that since this is a Liquor Commission order, not a health order, the police department will enforce issues related to the new “alcohol curfew.”

“The first goal is compliance, but CPD will respond to any complaints it receives about possible violations of this order,” he said.

Isaac said it could result in action against establishments liquor licenses.

Cranley said the city is taking measures to ensure schools can provide a safe learning environment for children.

They will be installing trailers, tents and other temporary facilities to provide for more social distancing.

He said the fees and requirements will be waived and the process will be streamlined.

Cranley has also offered rec centers free of charge to Cincinnati Public School students to provide more space for children to be out of the house.

He announced Riverfest will not be permitted this year.

“It’s inconceivable that we would have that kind of large gathering on the river,” he said.

Cranley said the chamber is trying to find a different model for Oktoberfest.

“Think of it as a large outdoor dining proposal,” he said. “They would control how many people are in or out. Those conversations are very preliminary.”

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