COVID-19 cases up in Butler, Warren and other SW Ohio counties

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

CINCINNATI — COVID-19 cases are the highest they’ve been in both Southwest Ohio and Kentucky in months, and they seem to be trending upward.

According to newly released data from the Ohio Department of Health, weekly cases in Southwest Ohio — which includes Hamilton, Butler, Warren, Clermont, Highland, Clinton, Brown and Adams counties — is up 6.8 times per week from June.

As of Aug. 30, there is a seven-day average of 194 cases in those counties. This is the highest the case amount has been since February 2023.

Breaking it down by county, both Highland and Adams counties are seeing their highest case numbers of 2023.

In Northern Kentucky, cases are also trending upward as they see the highest case count since mid-February.

In total, Boone, Kenton, Campbell, Carroll, Gallatin, Owen, Grant, Pendleton, Bracken and Mason counties have seen 554 cases in the week of Aug. 20.

This is 6.84 times higher than at the beginning of June 2023.

In terms of hospitalizations, they remain low throughout the majority of the Tri-State, according to CDC data through Aug. 19.

The only two counties to see substantial increases in hospitalizations were Clinton and Highland counties.

At the beginning of August, the CDC noted that there were upticks in cases nationwide.

While the CDC said the data is concerning, the rise isn’t as high as in previous summers.

This new COVID data also comes as the Ohio Department of Health announced that a new COVID variant has been detected in northeastern Ohio. Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said the COVID-19 variant BA.2.86 has been detected in one case in Lorain County, which is just west of Cleveland.

The CDC said BA.2.86 is a notable variant because it has multiple mutations that make it distinct. Vanderhoff said there is no evidence that this variant is causing more severe illness though.

Outside of Ohio, the variant has only been detected in two other U.S. cases — one in Michigan and one in Virginia. There have been 21 other cases worldwide.

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