CINCINNATI (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER) - Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley on Monday warned that residents face enormous danger as the wait for a COVID-19 vaccine continues.
He likened it to the lag between D-Day in 1944 and the official end of World War II, which came the following year.
“The end is near but there’s an enormous amount of danger between now and then,” he said.
City Hall has been closed to the public since Friday. Cranley said that he signed executive orders on Monday to enact a “pause” by halting City Hall meetings as well, according to our media partners at the Cincinnati Enquirer.
The goal is to slow the spread of the disease over the next four weeks, which health officials warn could be the deadliest yet.
State data released Sunday indicates that infected people are spreading the disease to more people today than they did a week ago on average. The positivity rate is also climbing.
Cincinnati Health Commissioner Melba Moore on Monday said cases in every age range are climbing, including children ages 0-9 and 10-19. While children don’t get severely sick as often as adults, the fatality rate overall for the coronavirus has reached 1.3% in Ohio.
“We can do this, Cincinnati,” Moore said. “We have to work together.”
Officials didn’t offer much new in terms of a citywide game plan, however. Cranley said that by shutting down City Hall, he was trying to lead by example.
He said he’s waiting to learn whether Gov. Mike DeWine plans to enact any further restrictions on restaurants, bars and fitness centers, though he added that he hopes that whatever is decided doesn’t further imperil businesses that are already struggling.
“Every action has a reaction and unintended consequences,” he said. “We’ll wait to see what the governor has in mind.”
City Manager Paula Boggs Muething said that various city buildings are being outfitted with Plexiglas barriers and air purifiers. City employees are encouraged to work remotely when possible. City Hall is only open to employees and public officials.
Cranley used the Monday COVID-19 update to give Moore his annual Humanitarian of the Year award. She received a plaque and a masked hug.
Coronavirus cases continue to surge in Greater Cincinnati. Last week, the number of total cases reported across the region since the pandemic started rose to roughly equal to the population of Colerain Township.
Also last week, all four Southwest Ohio counties hit new highs for per capita rates of new cases since the pandemic began. The rates in each are more than double the level indicating there is community spread of the coronavirus. All four are shown at red, the second-to-worst level, on the state’s COVID-19 risk map.
The situation was so grave by Friday that leaders of the Cincinnati region’s hospitals warned that a pause in nonessential surgeries and procedures was likely if case totals didn’t start dropping.
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