Aftab Pureval will be sworn in as the new mayor of Cincinnati on Jan. 4.
But, due to the recent spike in COVID cases, the inauguration site has been moved. Instead of holding event indoors at Music Hall, the ceremony will be conducted outside on the north lawn of Washington Park.
“As we commemorate the start of a new chapter for Cincinnati, we will exercise an abundance of caution in consideration of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic," Pureval said in a release. "While we are moving the ceremony outside in consultation with the city’s leading health experts, I look forward to an exciting day for our city.”
Cincinnati Health Commissioner Dr. Melba Moore was consulted about the move.
“I support wholeheartedly, along with my Board of Health, that the festivities will be taking place outdoors for an additional level of protection of our attendees," she said.
Pureval will be sworn in by Judge Timothy S. Black from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Jan. 4.
During a Dec. 21 briefing, Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley, Moore and Pureval jointly urged residents to take COVID-19 precautions ahead of the holidays.
"Despite all the things we've been through and all the positives like the vaccines, the case load is still very high and getting higher," Cranley said, adding that doctors recommend getting a third dose of an authorized vaccine booster. "All the evidence shows that if you are fully vaccinated, you are extremely unlikely to die of COVID, and if you get it — and many people are getting breakthrough cases — your symptoms will be less severe and (you will be) extremely less likely to have to go to the hospital."
According to Cincinnati's COVID case tracker, 989 new cases of the virus were reported on Jan. 1, with 253 on Jan. 2 and 797 on Jan. 3.
During the Nov. 2 election, Pureval defeated opponent and longtime politician David Mann to cement two important firsts: the first new mayor since John Cranley took office two terms ago, and Cincinnati's first Asian American mayor. Pureval took about 2/3 of the vote.
Pureval's administration will include Cincinnati City Council member and Cincinnati Herald publisher Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney as vice mayor.
At the end of last year, Pureval resigned from his position as clerk of courts for Hamilton County.
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