COVID-19 cases are up nationally and in Oxford

By Casey Brosokas

As of June 25, Butler County had 1,278 confirmed cases of COVID-19. The town of Oxford has 40 confirmed cases, up 11 , according to the latest weekly  epidemiology report released by the Butler County Department of Health.

The state of Ohio has an average of 339 confirmed cases of COVID-19 per 100k residents. The proportion of confirmed cases in Oxford is only about 148 cases per 100.000 residents, less than the state average.

This past Wednesday, June 24, the U.S. reported its highest amount of infections in a single day since April 25, with health departments from across the country reporting 38,115 new infections, higher than it has ever been before.

While this flare up across the country has been taking place, the average number of cases in Ohio is still trending down, according to the Ohio Department of Health, but Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine warned Ohioans of a flare up in the southwest region of the state.

Montgomery, Greene, Clark, Warren and Hamilton counties have all seen flare ups in the past couple of weeks, according to the governor, although Butler County has not. The governor has confirmed that the state will be sending more resources to the southwest region to help contain the spread.

With these recent flare ups, DeWine has made it clear that the last resort option for the state is to reinstate stricter lockdown procedures, similar to how the state was operating in April, “Now that we’ve opened most everything, that is a tougher tool to use,” said DeWine.

With Miami students set to return in August, the town is preparing for a massive influx of new residents and is also planning on how to make it a safe transition to Oxford for students and current residents.

“We are going to do everything we can to prevent the spread with everyone coming back,” said Assistant City Manager Jessica Greene. Greene is also on the Safe Return to Campus Committee, formed by Miami University to make the return to Miami as safe and easy as possible for students.

Greene said the committee is focusing mainly on how classes, and on-campus living will be taken care of by the university. Once that is figured out, the committee will focus on how things will be off campus for students, specifically concerning the bars, restaurants and off-campus houses.

Although the city is concerned about students coming to Oxford from all over the country, “Our bigger fear would be if students don’t come back,” Greene said, pointing out that the economy of Oxford is based on the students who attend Miami University for most of the year. “We need our student population here,” she said.

For more information on the COVID-19 crisis in and around Oxford, visit the Butler County Health Department’s website.