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Health department rescinds order for Northgate, Kenwood malls to close

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Posted at 1:33 PM, Mar 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-16 20:11:29-04

CINCINNATI — The Hamilton County Board of Health ordered the closure of Northgate Mall and Kenwood Towne Centre on Monday to limit the spread of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus — then un-ordered it hours later.

According to interim health commissioner Greg Kesterman, the mistaken pair of cease-and-desist orders had been issued "out of an abundance of caution" in an attempt to comply with the Ohio Department of Health's order prohibiting gatherings of 100 people or more in a single indoor space.

However, the order contained broad exceptions that included shopping malls.

“Please realize that we are working around the clock to ensure the health and safety of the citizens of Hamilton County,” Kesterman wrote in a statement. “We are sorry for any inconvenience or confusion that the previous order may have caused.”

Malls can remain open but are urged to encourage social distancing (spacing of six feet between patrons) and to close sit-down eating areas.