First Butler County coronavirus death reported in Hamilton

New York reports first coronavirus-related death in state
Posted at 10:03 AM, Mar 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-01 11:21:01-04

Editor’s note: With our coronavirus coverage, our goal is not to alarm you but to equip you with the information you need. We will try to keep things in context and focus on helping you make decisions. See a list of resources and frequently asked questions at the end of this story.

HAMILTON, Ohio - The first reported death in Butler County from coronavirus is an 86-year-old man from Hamilton, city officials said Tuesday morning.

The man had been living alone at his house in Hamilton when he became ill. He was transported Saturday to a hospital with a cough, shortness of breath and fatigue and was tested that day. He died on Sunday and the test results came back Monday night, said city spokesman Brandon Saurber.

Butler County Health Commissioner Jennifer Bailer called the death and seven new confirmed cases in the county "sobering news" at her Tuesday afternoon briefing.

"We are moving up the curve," Bailer said. "We are getting to the point where things are going to get worse."

The county now has 38 confirmed cases, Bailer said.

In other announcements Tuesday:

  • Bailer said she sent a letter to Solid Rock Church, which has continued in-person Sunday services in defiance of Gov. Mike DeWine's request. Even though the church is in Warren County, Bailer said she has jurisdiction there because it is located in Monroe, which overlaps the county line. "I've gotten a lot of calls about that," Bailer said. "I sent them a letter asking they not hold large gatherings. I wish there was more cooperation on that."
  • Bailer said she was starting a social media campaign called #StayTheHeckAtHomeBC.

According to the Journal-News, Hamilton Health Commissioner Kay Farrar first was notified about the Hamilton man's death on Monday night.

“We do not know how he contracted it at this point, if it’s community spread or if he had contact with someone who traveled recently,” Saurber said.

Farrar is working to learn more about the man’s history, with whom he had contact and other details. The city is also tracking information about the city employees who transported him.

The latest Butler County Health District report shows 31 confirmed cases, including 61% in Liberty and West Chester townships. Patients are ages 1 to 89 with a median age of 55. Twelve have recovered.

Bailer releases epidemiology reports three times per week. Cases by location include:

• West Chester Twp. - 10

• Liberty Twp. - 9

• Hamilton - 4

• Fairfield - 3

• Oxford - 3

• Middletown - 2

• Fairfield Twp. - 1

• Okeana - 1

It took patients 11 to 24 days to recover with the median recovery being 17 days.

Find more coronavirus/COVID-19 hotlines and resources below:


  • Department of Health COVID-19 hotline: 833-4-ASK-ODH
  • See ODH’s COVID-19 resources here.


  • State COVID-19 hotline: 1-800-722-5725
  • See the Cabinet for Health and Family Services coronavirus resource site here.


  • SDH Epidemiology Resource Center: (317) 233-7125 or (317) 233-1325 after hours, or e-mail
  • See more information for coronavirus in Indiana here.

What is coronavirus, COVID-19?

According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses are "a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).

A novel coronavirus, such as COVID-19, is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.

COVID-19 was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and has now been detected in 37 locations across the globe, including in the U.S., according to the CDC.

The CDC reports the initial patients in China have some link to a large seafood and live animal market, indicative of animal-to-person spread. A growing number of patients, however, did not report exposure to animal markets, indicating the disease is spreading person-to-person.

What are the symptoms? How does it spread?

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death, according to the CDC. Symptoms can include fever, cough, shortness of breath.

The CDC said symptoms could appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. It is similar to the incubation period for MERS.

Spread of the virus is thought to be mainly from person-to-person. Spread is between people who are in close contact with one another (within about six feet). Spread occurs via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

According to the CDC, it could be possible for a person to get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes. This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, the CDC said.

The disease is most contagious when people are the sickest and showing the most symptoms.