Cincinnati business leaders emphasize importance of keeping employees safe during COVID-19 pandemic

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Posted at 11:10 PM, Oct 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-28 08:04:20-04

CINCINNATI — Cases of COVID-19 are on the rise across Ohio. Tuesday afternoon, Gov. Mike DeWine called on local leaders to help reduce community spread before things get worse.

Tuesday evening, presidents and CEOs of some of Cincinnati’s largest employers explained what procedures they’ve put into place to keep the community safe.

“The first fundamental tenet is that we put people first,” said Cincinnati Financial Corporation chairman, president and CEO Steve Johnston.

Johnston is responsible for more than 5,000 employees across the United States – with more than half of them working locally. He said his ideals have been put to the test since mid-March when workers went remote. Even now as some employees are returning to work, anyone who thinks they may be at risk of catching COVID-19 is urged to stay out of the office and social distance.

"Work from home,” Johnston said. “Work from home for two weeks if you feel that you've really been exposed and show that flexibility and don't feel that there's a stigma."

Business leaders from other companies across the Tri-State said they’re taking similar measures.

"We're really looking to make a difference and to turn the direction in the outbreak that we're experiencing here," Ohio National Financial Services president and COO Barbara Turner said.

From providing cleaning supplies to masks – that means taking extra steps to slow the spread of COVID-19.

"Our opportunity is to influence our employees to do it at home. We're going to keep working on that through sending messages to their homes," Triversity CEO Melvin Gravely said.

With winter approaching and more people heading indoors, most of the business leaders said that keeping their employees and their employees' families safe is a message that gets more important every day.

"It was important that you make it very personal and you try to influence, and really that's been how we've been trying to deal with it, is to say, 'We're all in this together,'" Cincinnati Bell president and CEO Leigh Fox said.

New information regarding Hamilton County’s color-coded ranking in the state’s Public Health Advisory Alert System is expected to be released in the coming days.