Hearing Gov. Mike DeWine talk about the day COVID-19 restrictions might become a thing of the past put an extra bounce in Dawn Grady’s step Friday.”I’m excited that the state is trending in the right direction,” Grady said.But standing by the hand-made jewelry she sells in Junebug Designs, her store in Over-the-Rhine, Grady remains cautious.”I’m all for following the data and following the trends of the data before we just jump back out there and create a problem that’s worse than what we’ve already imagined,” Grady said.On Thursday, DeWine said data is the key to ending things like the state’s mask mandate.Dr. Andy Beck with Children’s Hospital explained what the governor and officials with the state’s Department of Health are closely monitoring.”So, the number of new cases, per population, over the last week,” Beck said.DeWine said when COVID-19 cases fall to 50 or fewer for every 100,000 residents for two straight weeks, statewide restrictions will go away.So how are we doing in Greater Cincinnati?”I multiplied it out and it’s about 110 or so (in Hamilton County),” Beck said. “We’re somewhere between two-and two-and-a-half times above the threshold that the governor mentioned.”Beck said that’s a lot better than just a month ago, which sounds great to Matt Alter, who leads Cincinnati’s fire union. Alter said it’s been weeks since he’s heard about an active COVID-19 case among his colleagues.”It does seem, just on a small scale — we always say the fire department is a microcosm of larger society — but on the small scale, it does appear that we are heading towards, hopefully, brighter days,” Alter said.Alter said firefighters in the Queen City are eager to re-engage with the community, especially school students, which is one of the many things that has been put on pause because of the pandemic.As far as how other Greater Cincinnati counties are faring — as of Thursday, Butler County and Warren County are seeing the newest COVID-19 cases. Those two counties are averaging nearly 126 new cases a week for every 100,000 people who live there.On the positive side, Brown County is averaging 49 new cases per week per 100,000. That’s one below DeWine’s re-opening threshold of 50. Coming in second is Highland County with 91 new cases a week.

Hearing Gov. Mike DeWine talk about the day COVID-19 restrictions might become a thing of the past put an extra bounce in Dawn Grady’s step Friday.

“I’m excited that the state is trending in the right direction,” Grady said.

But standing by the hand-made jewelry she sells in Junebug Designs, her store in Over-the-Rhine, Grady remains cautious.

“I’m all for following the data and following the trends of the data before we just jump back out there and create a problem that’s worse than what we’ve already imagined,” Grady said.

On Thursday, DeWine said data is the key to ending things like the state’s mask mandate.

Dr. Andy Beck with Children’s Hospital explained what the governor and officials with the state’s Department of Health are closely monitoring.

“So, the number of new cases, per population, over the last week,” Beck said.

DeWine said when COVID-19 cases fall to 50 or fewer for every 100,000 residents for two straight weeks, statewide restrictions will go away.

So how are we doing in Greater Cincinnati?

“I multiplied it out and it’s about 110 or so (in Hamilton County),” Beck said. “We’re somewhere between two-and two-and-a-half times above the threshold that the governor mentioned.”

Beck said that’s a lot better than just a month ago, which sounds great to Matt Alter, who leads Cincinnati’s fire union. Alter said it’s been weeks since he’s heard about an active COVID-19 case among his colleagues.

“It does seem, just on a small scale — we always say the fire department is a microcosm of larger society — but on the small scale, it does appear that we are heading towards, hopefully, brighter days,” Alter said.

Alter said firefighters in the Queen City are eager to re-engage with the community, especially school students, which is one of the many things that has been put on pause because of the pandemic.

As far as how other Greater Cincinnati counties are faring — as of Thursday, Butler County and Warren County are seeing the newest COVID-19 cases. Those two counties are averaging nearly 126 new cases a week for every 100,000 people who live there.

On the positive side, Brown County is averaging 49 new cases per week per 100,000. That’s one below DeWine’s re-opening threshold of 50. Coming in second is Highland County with 91 new cases a week.