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Fairfield ZIP code leads Butler County in coronavirus cases, mayor stresses prevention

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

COVID-19 cases could be 10 times higher than reports say, CDC estimates

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Fairfield mayor says the city will continue to encourage CDC hand-washing, mask-wearing guidelines.

Officials operated a pop-up coronavirus testing site in Fairfield on Thursday after identifying the area as the hardest hit in Butler County by positive cases.

The ZIP code that incorporates most of the city (45014), and also includes parts of the city of Hamilton and Fairfield, Ross and West Chester townships, has seen 27.4 percent of all novel coronavirus cases since Butler County’s first reported case on March 11, according to the county’s health department.

As of Thursday, 1,450 Butler County residents have contracted the virus, and another 33 have probable cases, according to the latest Butler County General Health District data.

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The best thing Fairfield, and all communities, can do to curb the spread of the virus is to push the guidelines outlined by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, officials said.

“I hope that people maintain their social distancing, wear the masks, wash their hands and all those things recommended by the CDC,” said Mayor Steve Miller. “I think pushing the message is about all that we can do. Really, it’s going to be up to individuals, in my opinion, to protect themselves when what they do and how they do it.”

On Thursday, the Butler County General Health District organized a pop-up community testing site near ALDI in Fairfield’s downtown district.

Cases in Butler County have gradually increased over the past few weeks. The 1,450 confirmed cases in the county is an increase of 390 cases in a four-week span, according to health district reports.

Though Butler County’s spike has been gradual, county Health Commissioner Jennifer Bailer said, “What happens in Cincinnati or Dayton typically occurs in Butler County within a short time period.”

According to the Ohio Department of Health, Hamilton and Montgomery counties — where Cincinnati and Dayton reside, respectively — has experienced spikes in cases, hospitalizations and deaths over the past few weeks.

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Effective today, the city of Dayton will mandate masks to be worn in public indoor and outdoor spaces. It is not the first community to impose such an ordinance, which has been supported by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, but Fairfield's mayor doesn't see that happening in his city of an estimated 42,500 residents.

“As far as us putting down some kind of rules or laws, I don’t see that happening,” Miller said.

The Fairfield administration adopted healthy workplace practices at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, including providing masks to employees, staggering shifts, separating work zones, installing barriers, encouraging frequent hand washing and disinfecting of workspaces, and advising individuals to remain 6 feet apart.

The city confirmed last month a city employee working in the administrative building on Pleasant Avenue contracted the virus and worked from home while in quarantine. That employee returned to work on June 25.

KNOW THE SYMPTOMS

Those with COVID-19 have reported a range of symptoms, and they have ranged from mild to severe. Symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus, and symptoms may include:

• fever (of 100.4 degrees)

• cough

• shortness of breath

• muscle or body aches

• headache

• new loss of taste or smell

• sore throat

• congestion or runny nose

• nausea or vomiting

• diarrhea

Anyone with symptoms should contact their healthcare provider. For more information, visit the Butler County General Health District at health.bcohio.us.