• Tue. Apr 20th, 2021

Graph shows the COVID-19 toll on Cincinnati during the past year. With vaccinations now underway in the country and city, the chart shows a downtrend of new COVID-19 cases in the city. Provided by Cincinnati Health Department

By Gerald Checco

Herald Contributor

Cincinnatians have experienced COVID-19 for over a year now. In Cincinnati, the first official COVID 19 fatality was on April 3, 2020.  The world has seen over 2.4 million fatalities, the USA over 500,000 and in the city of Cincinnati over 220 deaths.  As of now, despite enormous progress in virus science and tremendous advance in the understanding of genetics, COVID-19 is already the seventh largest recorded pandemic in history.

Councilmember David Mann proposed a resolution adopted by Council on February 24, 2021, to designate the first Monday in March as “COVID-19 Memorial Day,” joining other cities and local governments in a day of remembrance for those who we have lost their lives and those who are forever marked by COVID-19, those who continue to suffer, and their grieving families.

The resolution notes the virus has had “a disproporinate impact on communities of color and low-income communities exacerbating inequities already prevalent in our communities that we must address as a nation.”

For each Cincinnatian lost in the last year to COVID-19, a small flag has been placed in the lobby of the College Hill Recreation Center, 5545 Belmont Ave.

Flags in the entrance hall at College Hill Recreation Center celebrate the lives of Cincinnatians lost to the deadly COVID-19 virus. Photo provided

Our country, our state and our City have made significant progress in providing vaccinations. The Cincinnati Health Department alone has administered over 16,000 doses, and 10,000 Cincinnatians have received the two doses from the health department, health officials said.

Mayor John Canley said. “Today we also celebrate the hard work, often with considerable personal risk, of our public servants including health care providers of the health department, first responders of police and fire, front line workers of public services providing basic services, employees of our Recreation Commission participating in the logistics of vaccine delivery and ensuring that our kids had access to the Internet for participating in school curriculum. 

“One year ago, our world turned upside down as the coronavirus crisis inundated our community with health hazards unlike anything we had ever experienced before. Our city has experienced unimaginable loss, but I am grateful to take this moment to honor the Cincinnatians no longer with us, the heroes on the frontline fighting this virus, and the hope we have in the vaccines.”

Councilman Mann said, “With encouraging signs for an end to this health crisis in the not too distant future and with the hope that soon we will be back to a more normal life, it is essential to remember not only lives lost and grieving families, but also the extraordinary resilience of our front line workers, health care professionals, first responders and the many acts of kindness of neighbors helping neighbors.”

Cincinnati City Council members participating in the COVID-19 Day remembrance were, from left, Liz Keating, David Mann and Jan-Michelle Lemon Kearney. Photo provided

Other city officials participating included Dr. Melba Moore, Cincinnati Health Commissioner; John Juech, Assistant City Manager; Daniel Betts, Director Recreation Commission; Chief Winston, Cincinnati Fire Department; and Jerry Wilkerson, Director Department of Public Services.

The best way to obtain an appointment for Tier 1B individuals who live or work in the City of Cincinnati is to visit the Cincinnati Health Department and click on to the section marked COVID-19, Vaccination Information & Sign up.

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