On Monday, Court Administrator Jennifer Burnside said Tepe’s case docket “was continued,” but did not respond to follow-up questions.
On Tuesday, Clerk of Courts Jim Spaeth said he had been told contact tracing done as a result of the two positive test results had indicated none of his employees had been exposed. He referred further questions to Burnside.
Stansbury confirmed the two cases in Tepe’s court after another work session Tuesday during which two county commissioners challenged steps taken to prevent spread of the virus and the state putting Warren County in Level 3, the red zone.
“When you look at these numbers, this is the worst situation Ohio has been in,” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said Friday afternoon in comments about statewide COVID-19 numbers during a stop in Cincinnati during which he took time to note the large number in southwest Ohio. “This is spiraling out of control.”
The Warren County Common Pleas Court presided over by Judge Tim Tepe is to be closed for several weeks after two positive COVID-19 tests by staff.
Stansbury said the red-zone designation was akin to “an early warning system that something might be going on.” He confirmed local cases most often stem from small family gatherings where masks weren’t worn or social distancing practiced.
County Commissioners Tom Grossmann and Dave Young emphasized the negative impact preventative measures ordered by the state have on businesses and others in the community.
Grossmann expressed skepticism about the value of masking and noted the small number of cases that have resulted in serious health problems.
“Almost everyone in Warren County has gotten better,” Grossmann said.
Grossmann couldn’t be reached to comment on the closing of Tepe’s court.