Christmastime, COVID-19 fears, tornado relief and more stories to know to start your week

·2 min read
The Nutcracker is back at the Cincinnati Ballet.
The Nutcracker is back at the Cincinnati Ballet.

Santa Claus is coming to town. Don't believe he exists? The Enquirer went all the way to the North Pole in 1934 to find him. He gave us a tour of his house. Case closed.

Now, on to the news you need to know to start your week.

COVID-19 caution

Health officials said last week they're worried another COVID-19 surge could hit the area as people gather for the holidays.

Local hospital beds are already full and staff are drained as the pandemic persists. There's concern about the omicron variant and the seasonal flu and what they might do to a strained health system.

To help you stay safe, we asked a group of experts for their advice on how to approach holiday parties, Santa visits and more this year.

Tornado aftermath

Kentucky continues to deal with the aftermath of a series of deadly tornados in the western part of the state.

The search for victims continues with more deaths expected as the rubble is cleared.

The Louisville Courier-Journal spoke with people taking refuge at Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park about what their lives are like now and what's next for them.

They also have a list of organizations that are gathering donations to help those affected.

Christmastime is here

Cincinnati may not be a winter wonderland right now, but there are plenty of ways to get into the Christmas spirit this week.

COVID-19 and the Bengals

COVID is shaking up the sports world, sidelining players and canceling games.

Last week, the Bengals placed starting cornerback Chidobe Awuzie on the reserve/COVID-19 list. The team is making a push for the playoffs with just a few games left in the regular season.

Reporters Kelsey Conway and Charlie Goldsmith have the latest on what's happening as the postseason nears.

Download the Cincinnati Sports app to find all of their reporting.

Miami Redhawks in bowl game

Need a little Christmas Eve-eve distraction?

The Miami Redhawks play North Texas on Thursday in the Frisco Bowl.

The Redhawks finished their season 6-6, but this is the first time in more than 15 years they've gone to back-to-back bowl games. (They lost the LendingTree Bowl to Louisiana last year.)

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: How to help tornado victims, Christmas, and more to know this week