Fairfield, Butler County officials address decision to close elementary school today

Fairfield South Elementary School closed today as voluntary precaution after a younger sibling of a student was tested for coronavirus Tuesday.

Test results for coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, are not known at this time, said Butler County Health Commissioner Jenny Bailer.

“There’s been no confirmation at this point,” she said. “From what I understand, a test has been performed. There are no results back at this time.”

School officials said the decision to close was not necessary after consulting with the Butler County General Health District and medical professionals, but they did so anyway “as a precautionary measure.”

“This was a very serious consideration by several district leaders,” said Fairfield schools spokeswoman Gina Gentry-Fletcher. “Our staff is thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting the building today, again, as a precaution.”

The sibling is not yet old enough to attend school, Gentry-Fletcher said.

Fairfield Schools’ decision is one of many being made around Butler County pertaining to the outbreak of COVID-19.


• Butler County continues coronavirus actions as governor makes broad recommendations

• Butler County names 3 new polling places to move from nursing homes

• Lakota to practice remote learning as area schools set coronavirus plans

“We did confer (Tuesday) evening and jointly decided that would be the best course of action,” she said.

Bailer said the school’s decision was “their choice.”

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine made “strong recommendations” Tuesday meant to slow the COVID-19 outbreak, including asking colleges and universities to hold classes online, indoor sporting event organizers to ban spectators (including NCAA Tournament games), nursing homes to carefully screen visitors and communities to cancel large gatherings.

DeWine is prohibiting all visits at Ohio’s 27 adult prisons and three youth detention facilities. The Buckeye Sheriff’s Association is expected to issue guidance on jail visitors.

COVID-19 is part of a larger family of coronaviruses that may cause mild to severe respiratory illnesses. The common cold is a type of coronavirus.

This newer type of coronavirus appears to have started overseas and has made its way in multiple countries, including the Unites States. More than 1,000 in the United States have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to multiple news reports.

COVID-19 symptoms generally appear two to 14 days after exposure and include fever, cough and difficulty breathing, said Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton.

Most who become sick do not require hospitalization, but those with chronic heath conditions, compromised immune systems and older adults may require hospitalization or advanced care.

For more information, an Ohio call center is open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).

About the Author