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As more test kits come in, Cincinnati braces for surge of COVID-19 confirmations

Posted at 10:50 PM, Mar 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-22 22:50:05-04

CINCINNATI — Editor’s note: With our coronavirus coverage, our goal is not to alarm you but to equip you with the information you need. We will try to keep things in context and focus on helping you make decisions. See a list of resources and frequently asked questions here.

Mayor John Cranley began his Sunday afternoon press conference saying he plans to enforce Governor DeWine's "shelter in place" order, but ultimately admitted he believes Cincinnati could also see a surge of positive cases as the city receives more available test kits.

Cranley said the city will rely on people to follow the Governor's order on their own; Cincinnati Police will add officers to patrols around the city to discourage people from going out for non-essential activities, but the officers plan to focus more heavily on ensuring businesses are in compliance.

Cincinnati Health Commissioner Melba Moore also addressed the city's recent need for additional test kits, and said the Health Department is currently working to acquire a new shipment of test kits to communities throughout the region.

"The state did receive their stockpile of materials and supplies -- their initial supply," said Moore. "We will distribute those accordingly to the needs in the community in our region. So that would mean our health departments and our health systems."

When asked when Cincinnati could receive the test kits, Moore said she believed they should be arriving on Monday. She admitted, however that she does not know how many supplies the state will be sending directly to Cincinnati, but the shipment will include both COVID-19 tests and personal protective equipment. She said the city is trying to take things day by day.

Cranley said as new tests become available, he expects to see a surge of new confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in the city over the coming weeks.