“Public health and emergency management planning from the onset of COVID-19 have looked at a myriad of options, understanding the need (when they come) may be unique,” said Butler County EMA Director Matt Haverkos. “Luckily the county has not had to provide housing nor execute any contracts.”
Haverkos previously told the Journal-News finding a place willing to take the risk of housing those infected with COVID-19 has been challenging, saying they’ve “probably talked to every hotel in the region.”
Health Commissioner Jennifer Bailer approached the commission about the idea in April, telling the commissioners earlier this month, “this is not an infirmary, this is not a step-down hospital in any way.”
Butler County General Health District officials declined to comment on Holiday Inn Express backing out of the contract.
The health district initially wanted to contract with an Oxford hotel, but a corporate commitment has not yet been confirmed. Bailer told commissioners the hotel would require the county to rent the entire hotel, so the lodging cost would be $73,000 for 65 rooms. The county would expend an additional $108,000 for the county to provided staffing, security, cleaning, food and other incidentals.
In Butler County, there have been more than 1,400 COVID-19 cases, and 39 confirmed deaths as of June 24. The first Butler County case was reported on March 11, according to the county health district. The most number of cases — 27.4 percent — are from the Fairfield zip code, 45014.
White residents are contracting the virus at a higher rate than other racial and ethnic populations last week, with Hispanic residents second, according to the latest Butler County epidemiology report on June 24.
People between 20 and 49 years old have been contracting the virus more than people in older and younger age groups, according to the report.
POP-UP TESTING SITE
The Butler County General Health District will conduct tests for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, today. It’s being offered by Primary Health Solutions.
Where: Aldi, 5065 Pleasant Ave. (corner of Pleasant Avenue and Patterson Boulevard)
When: 9 a.m to 4 p.m. today
Cost: No cost but individuals must bring driver's license or ID and an insurance card, though uninsured patients are welcome.
Appointments: No appointments necessary as walk-ups are welcomed
More info: For questions, call 513-454-1111 or visit health.bcohio.us.