DeWine cautioned, however, the new state tracking may not initially match the numbers reported locally for school students as the recording process moves through its initial roll out.
Butler County is Ohio’s 7th most populous – with more than 383,000 residents – so its inclusion among the counties with some of the highest infection rates for children is expected, according to county health officials.
“It is not surprising that we would rank somewhere in the tip five to 10 counties for any outcome,” said Butler County Health Commissioner Jennifer Bailer. “Counties do switch places back and forth frequently. Certainly, it would be better if we were not so high in the rankings for this."
She said there have been some upticks in cases among local children since March and most recently on Sept. 15.
Bailer pointed to those as further reasons to maintain best practices when it comes to wearing masks, maintaining social distance and hand washing among other precautions.
“Three significant spikes in number of cases around May 15, July 4, and July 20. Sep. 15 is also high. These dates may correspond to holiday celebrations or family gatherings.”
“Diligence in get-togethers - with masks and social distancing - are still so very important,” she said.
Officials with the Hamilton’s health department echoed that advice.
“Thankfully, we’ve not had a seriously ill child in the city of Hamilton. In our experience locally, most children exhibit very mild symptoms, if any at all,” said spokesman Brandon Saurber. “We continue to urge parents to keep their children home if they are ill. Children who are ill pose a risk to more vulnerable populations.
“Social distancing, mask-wearing, and hand-washing are our greatest tools against this virus."