Hamilton firefighters to be quarantined after first Butler County coronavirus death

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Stunning aerial view of downtown Hamilton

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

A Hamilton man became the first recorded death from coronavirus in Buter County after city officials confirmed Tuesday a test for him was returned positive.

The 86-year-old man died on Sunday, and his test results were learned on Monday night, city officials said.

His death came more than two weeks after the first four cases of coronavirus was confirmed in the county, on March 13. As of Tuesday, there were 38 confirmed cases in Butler County, according to Butler County General Health District data.

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.

The four Hamilton firefighters who transported him, while officials believe they are unlikely to contract the virus, have been quarantined for 14 days.

Across Ohio, as of Tuesday afternoon, there were 2,199 confirmed coronavirus cases, with 585 hospitalizations, 198 intensive-care-unit admissions and 55 deaths, according to Ohio Department of Health data.

The Hamilton man died on Sunday, “and the test results came back at 10:30 p.m.” Monday, said city spokesman Brandon Saurber.

That’s when Hamilton Health Commissioner Kay Farrar first received was notified about him.

“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.

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Farrar is working to learn more about the man’s history, with whom he had contact and other details.

“While the four members of the Hamilton Fire Department who transported this gentleman have a very low likelihood of having contracted COVID-19, they will be quarantined for 14 days out of an abundance of caution to protect their coworkers and those we serve in the City of Hamilton,” Saurber said.

Hamilton has four confirmed cases and one death.

Health Commissioner Jennifer Bailer releases detailed epidemiology reports three times per week.

The latest, on Monday, came before new data on total cases were released Tuesday. Cases by location as of Monday included:

• 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.

People with questions about the coronavirus can call the Ohio Department of Health’s coronavirus help line at 1-833-427-5634.

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How to take precautions

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; dry hands with a clean towel or air dry hands.
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are unavailable.
  • Cover your mouth with a tissue or sleeve when sneezing or coughing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean "high-touch" surfaces daily. These include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, desks, and tablets.

Source: Ohio Department of Health

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