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Mayor Cranley: City Needs Public's Help To Make 'Stay-At-Home Order Work'

Cincinnati officials said Sunday the city will enforce the stay-at-home order issued by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Ohio Health Director Amy Acton to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

The order takes effect Monday at 11:59 p.m. and will remain in place until 11:59 p.m. on April 6, unless it's modified or rescinded.

Mayor John Cranley said the city will need the public's help to "make it work."

"We understand there's going to be a lot of confusion as to who this order applies to and who it doesn't apply to," Cranley said. "So, we will be taking a collaborative and cooperative approach to help you figure out whether or not this applies to you. However, it does carry the force of law and as the governor said, these are no longer suggestions. These are orders and so we will enforce this."

Cranley noted there are many exceptions to the 23-page stay at home order. Those include going to stores for supplies, picking up carry out food, seeking healthcare, and traveling to jobs at businesses that are considered essential.

The mayor said on a conference call with Gov. DeWine Sunday morning someone asked, "How is this going to be different than what's already happening?"

"And the governor said, 'If people have been listening to our suggestions and orders, not much,' " Cranley said. "The fact is that while it's scary to hear that this order is in place, in fact, what Ohio has been doing over the last week and what the city has been doing over the last week, is essentially putting this into practice."

Cranley said enforcement will primarily focus on groups of people or large gatherings. 

He said officials will not be targeting individuals in their cars who are traveling. Cranley said they'll assume those people are doing essential functions.

Cranley noted this order does apply to private residences, but not to families who may be gathering.

"This is not about punitive actions," said Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac. "However, it is about compliance, and our officers will be out and about encouraging people to adhere to those orders that have been given. So, we will do the necessary action to make sure that compliance is gained."

Isaac said the department will be adding extra officers to patrol the city to increase visibility. Officers who may typically work non-patrol functions may now be doing patrols.

The chief also said the department will be changing what calls for service it responds to. Those changes will be announced in the coming days.

Cincinnati Health Commissioner Melba Moore said there are now nine confirmed COVID-19 cases within the city, and that includes five positive tests that were returned Sunday.

Moore said the city cases include six males and three females, and all are isolated in their homes. They range in age from 29 to 70.

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