County reports fewer COVID- 19 cases


Photo provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Butler County reported more than 1,100 new cases of COVID-19 in its weekly COVID update, released Feb. 11. Photo provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 

By Caroline Haubenstricker 

Butler County General Health District reported 2,579 new cases of COVID-19 between Jan. 23 and Jan. 29, according to its weekly update released Monday, Feb. 3.  The county also reported 1,005 Ohio Department of Health verified COVID-19 related deaths throughout the pandemic.

Residents in the 45056 zip code, which includes Oxford, reported a high transmission rate with 184 new cases from Jan. 23 to Jan. 29. The zip code covers 75 square miles. 

Butler County reported 673.1 cases per 100,000 people for a positivity rate of 27.73% during the reporting period.  

Butler County General Health District announced it will no longer  contact or issue formal quarantine orders to close contacts of positive cases, except in unique situations. 

The county’s figures reflect national COVID-19 rates, according to the report.  

As of Thursday, Feb. 10, McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital in Oxford had eight positive cases of COVID-19: five in the medical unit and three in the ICU. Two of the eight patients live in the city of Oxford. 

“[McCullough-Hyde’s positivity rate] was at around 39% about a week ago and down to 26%, and more importantly, the number of people requesting testing has been cut in half since a week ago, which is rather interesting,” said Michael Everett, president and chief operating officer of McCullough-Hyde and Bethesda Butler Hospital in Hamilton. “So, it appears the numbers continues to go down for us when it comes to not only requests for covid tests, but also the positivity rate.” 

The positivity rate is the percentage of positive tests out of all tests administered. 

Everett said COVID-19 in Butler County reached its peak from the Omicron variant in the first week in February because numbers show a plateau from the past few weeks. 

The COVID-19 cases are down by 1,837 from the previous week, with 38 new Ohio Department of Health verified COVID-19 related deaths. 

Miami University updated its COVID-19 Oxford Campus Dashboard  Tuesday, Feb. 8, reporting that there were 27 new student cases and one new employee case from Monday. There are 17 students in isolation with 111 available beds remaining, according to the university report.  

In Miami’s weekly COVID-19 Campus update for Wednesday, Feb. 9, it announced the university “anticipate(s) additional changes in public health guidelines as the state of the disease transitions from a pandemic to an endemic.” 

“I’ve been hearing [of the change] as well. It is the endgame as we see this as going to continue. It’s what everyone is claiming it will go to and seems like the natural progression of this situation,” Everett said.

Even though this is down from two weeks before, the university plans to keep the mask mandate until the rate of transmission is below the high threshold for Butler County and Oxford, according to Miami’s COVID-19 Campus Update.