Butler County is 12th in counties ranked by the highest occurrence of the virus, according to the Ohio Department of Health. From Oct. 7 to Oct. 20, there were 1,063 cases of the virus, which equates to 277.4 cases per 100,000 residents, according to the state.
The Butler County General Health District on Thursday reported 125 total deaths since the first reported case in the county in mid-March.
Neighboring Hamilton County is one of three Ohio counties that are on the watch list, meaning if numbers don’t decline it’s likely they could be the first purple counties since the state enacted its color-coded public health advisory system over the summer.
As of Thursday, 38 counties, which represent 74 percent of the state’s population, are at Level 3 in the advisory system. That includes Butler County.
There are 46 counties that represent 25 percent of Ohio’s population, at Level 2, or the orange level.
DeWine invited former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie who was diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus last month when he was part of President Donald Trump’s preparation team for the Cleveland debate. He said the governor has "been a consistent, strong voice since the beginning of this pandemic.”
“It is a frightening experience," said Christie. "This is one of the most unpredictable, random and brutal viruses you will ever see.”
Christie said he wore his mask for seven months, and was hospitalized for COVID-19 for nearly a week. He was one of eight attendees for President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee announcement to contract the virus.
He called he felt a "freight train of symptoms of COVID-19.”
“I support what you’re doing out there," Christie said. "What the governor’s advising you to do, it’s exactly the right thing to do.”