Butler County judge expected to hold court this week following coronavirus recovery

Judge Charles Pater. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

Butler County Common Pleas Judge Charles Pater’s courtroom is usually busy with a full slate of cases to be called. But last week court was canceled after the judge returned to work following his recovery from the coronavirus.

Pater said he previously tested positive for the virus and had mild systems.

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Pater said he followed CDC guidelines and was able to return to work safely last Monday. However, there were concerns from attorneys and others about guidelines that would have to be followed by family members if they were in contact with the recovered judge.

“Out of caution, I just canceled the docket,” Pater said.

The judge expects his regular docket to resume on Tuesday.

Since March, the county’s common pleas division has added precautions, including masks being mandatory in the hallways and a camera that takes the temperature of all who enter at the security check point. During the lockdown, many cases were put on hold or moved through phone conferences. Trials are now held in a special courtroom fitted for coronavirus safety.

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Butler County continues to remain among the top Ohio counties with the highest occurrences of the novel coronavirus.

The state’s seventh-largest county has 199.9 per capita cases, or 766, over the past two weeks, and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine called the numbers among the top 20 counties “very alarming.”

The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that counties should have 50 per capita cases or fewer.

On Thursday, the county remained at Level 3, or red level, of the state’s color-coded public health advisory system for the sixth straight week. The county is one of 18 red-level counties, which is the highest number of Level 3 counties since July 23. Nearly the entire state is either at Level 3 or Level 2, or orange level. There are 12 counties at the Level 1, or yellow level, which represents roughly 4 percent of the state.

Staff Writer Michael Pitman contributed to this report

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