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City officials: Remain calm, but be proactive

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Posted at 11:36 AM, Mar 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-16 11:36:15-04

CINCINNATI — Cincinnati City Council members said Monday morning that there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the city, and they urged people to stay calm while the city and state take the necessary steps to handle this situation.

"I want people to remain calm," health commissioner Melba Moore said. "We have a governor and mayor that are very proactive."

Moore then reiterated that there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the city, but there are six people who are currently being tested. The results of those tests are expected to be back Tuesday or Wednesday. If one of those tests returns positive, Moore said there is a two hour window when the positive result has to be announced to the city.

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If a positive result does come though, Councilman Chris Smitherman asked what can people do?

"What I'm going to say is not going to be popular," Moore said. "Take a sabbatical to protect myself... watch church online, listen to the radio if its available..."

The importance of washing hands, social distancing and disinfecting surfaces was also reiterated.

Council members also addressed Governor Mike DeWine's order ending dining-in at restaurants and bars on Sunday. They said all 2,500 restaurants and bars in the city would be checked by the health department to make sure they are complying with the governor's order.

The threat of COVID-19 to those people experiencing homelessness was also brought up. Officials said they would be looking at a facility in the city later Monday which could be used to house those experiencing homelessness during the outbreak.

Council members said they are meeting daily with Mayor John Cranley on the state of the virus in the city.

RELATED: Cincinnati Public Schools closes all schools beginning Monday