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 at the end of this story.
In response to the spike in demand for carry-out and delivery food services throughout the city, City Council has directed the administration to work with restaurants by providing free temporary metered parking outside their doors.
Gov. Mike DeWine ordered all Ohio restaurants and bars close to dine-in customers by 9 p.m. Sunday in response to the ongoing spread of COVID-19 throughout Ohio. In the days since, leaders have encouraged the public to support these businesses by ordering take-out or delivery.
Cincinnati City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved Councilman Chris Seelbach's motion directing City Manager Patrick Duhaney's staff to work "with restaurants to allow for the conversion of some metered spaces to temporary 'pick up/drop off' zones for the duration of the closures."
Seelbach originally proposed the idea Monday in a tweet, instructing restaurant owners to "call 513-352-6280 to speak with a Parking Facilities supervisor or email email@example.com."
His motion passed Wednesday by a unanimous 7-0 vote. Councilman Jeff Pastor was absent from the meeting, and former City Councilwoman Tamaya Dennard's replacement, Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney, was not sworn into her seat until later during Wednesday's meeting.
Seelbach's colleague Jeff Pastor announced a similar motion Tuesday, calling on the administration to make all city parking meters free through May 1, to freeze parking citation penalties through May 15 and to reschedule all pending parking citation hearings until after May 1.
Seelbach's motion Wednesday does not carry the weight of law. It merely directs the city administration to work with area restaurants to work out solutions on a case-by-case basis.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear also closed all restaurants and bars to dine-in customers on Monday at 5 p.m.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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, but it can be spread even at asymptomatic stages.