City officials advise staying up to date on vaccines. Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash

By Rocky Mertz

City of Cincinnati

Last Friday, the Cincinnati Health Department informed the City Manager’s Office that Hamilton County has increased its Community COVID-19 classification level to high (Orange). This is based on a combination of increases in cases per 100,000 (242.09 per 100,000), hospital admissions per 100,000 (11.2 per 100,000 – trigger which caused the shift to high) and in % beds with COVID-19 patients (5.5%).   

“We have seen a sharp rise in COVID-19 infection and hospitalization rates, and in accordance with the CDC’s current recommendations for Hamilton County, we as a City are making a formal recommendation for employees in all departments to begin wearing a mask while indoors,” Mayor Aftab Pureval said.  

He continued, “I am personally masking in indoor public settings until the situation improves, and I strongly encourage all residents to practice good judgment – getting vaccinated, getting boosted, and wearing a mask to protect those around you. Supporting each other and exercising caution will help us get through this wave with a healthy and strong community.” 

The City’s response is to recommend that all employees follow CDC guidelines where practical:   

  • For City Departments: 
    • Consider virtual meetings when possible 
    • Encourage masks indoors regardless of vaccination status when in group settings and where distancing is unable to be maintained 
    • Encourage employees to stay home when sick 
    • Encourage employees to seek testing when presenting with symptoms  
    • If an employee has COVID-19 or may have been exposed, report using the following link and receive recommendations from the Health Department for isolation and quarantine:
  • The City Manager strongly encourages the following for individual employees: 
    • If you have household or social contact with someone at high risk for severe disease 
      • Consider self-testing to detect infection before contact 
      • Consider wearing a mask when indoors with them  
    • Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines 
    • Wear a mask indoors in public and on public transportation 
    • If one is at high risk for severe illness, consider wearing a mask indoors in public and take additional precautions 

Of course, all employees may choose to wear a mask at any time as an additional precaution to protect yourself and others. 

The Cincinnati Health Department continues to provide access to COVID-19 vaccines and testing at its Burnet Campus.  The Test and Protect website also continues to house accurate information for testing and vaccination outside the Health Department. 

The City of Cincinnati recommends that all citizens continue to remain diligent regarding COVID-19 infection and follow all recommendations from the CDC, the State of Ohio, and our local County and City Health officials.

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