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Clifton rallies behind restaurants, health care workers

Donations help provide free meals
Posted at 5:43 PM, Apr 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-02 18:27:25-04

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 at the end of this story.

CINCINNATI - Clifton is coming together to support two major sectors of the neighborhood - restaurateurs and health care workers - in an initiative called “Clifton Cares.”

“Obviously we have seen a big drop in business,” said Alex Barden, owner of Sitwells Act II.

Meanwhile, area hospitals are bustling.

“We wanted to come up with a way to help both,” said Patrick Borders, vice president of the Clifton Business Association.

Clifton Cares will help feed health care workers while bringing business to local restaurants.

"Originally we had a goal of 500 meals,” Borders said. “We’re going to expand that to do this as long as we can. As long as we have funding, we’re going to provide meals for health care workers."

The association says a few dollars can go a long way, and that’s why they’re asking you to donate on your phone or online.

Here’s how it works:

People donate to Clifton Cares. Then, when a health care worker orders from any of the eight participating Clifton restaurants, the money collected is used to cover their tab.

Clifton Cares will be switching to a GoFundMe account soon, but for now you can donate at this PayPal link or the Clifton Town Meeting Facebook page.

So far, more than $4,000 has been raised.

“I did not expect to see that that quickly,” Borders said.

“It’s a no brainer,” said Barden.

Barden's Sitwells Act II is one of the participating restaurants. Others are Dusmesh, the Whole Bowl, Habanero’s, Biagio’s Bistro, Proud Rooster, Marrakech and Gaslight Bar & Grill

“The opportunity to provide for the several incredible hospitals in the neighborhood … How could you say no to that?” Barden said. “And just to be clear, we are beneficiaries of the project just as much as we are participants in it.”

Barden says some medical providers have already come into Sitwells.

“We’ve had several come in already, very appreciative,” Barden said.

He hopes to see it continue, lifting local businesses while serving local heroes.

“It’s extremely rewarding,” Barden said. “What they’re going through right now … the struggles that we’re facing pale in comparison to what the folks at the hospital are dealing with."

Find more coronavirus/COVID-19 hotlines and resources below:


  • Department of Health COVID-19 hotline: 833-4-ASK-ODH
  • See ODH’s COVID-19 resources here.


  • State COVID-19 hotline: 1-800-722-5725
  • See the Cabinet for Health and Family Services coronavirus resource site here.


  • SDH Epidemiology Resource Center: (317) 233-7125 or (317) 233-1325 after hours, or e-mail
  • See more information for coronavirus in Indiana here.

What is coronavirus, COVID-19?

According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses are "a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).

A novel coronavirus, such as COVID-19, is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.

COVID-19 was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and has now been detected in 37 locations across the globe, including in the U.S., according to the CDC.

The CDC reports the initial patients in China have some link to a large seafood and live animal market, indicative of animal-to-person spread. A growing number of patients, however, did not report exposure to animal markets, indicating the disease is spreading person-to-person.

What are the symptoms? How does it spread?

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death, according to the CDC. Symptoms can include fever, cough, shortness of breath.

The CDC said symptoms could appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. It is similar to the incubation period for MERS.

Spread of the virus is thought to be mainly from person-to-person. Spread is between people who are in close contact with one another (within about six feet). Spread occurs via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

According to the CDC, it could be possible for a person to get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes. This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, the CDC said.

The disease is most contagious when people are the sickest and showing the most symptoms.