Ohio COVID-19 Outbreak Traced To Amish Wedding

From Cleveland 19 News:

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) – The Ashland County Health Department says a recent outbreak affecting the area’s Amish community stems from a wedding.

The outbreak, which is declared when at least two or more individuals test positive for an infectious disease like COVID-19, in the Loudonville area originated from an Ashland County resident who attended a wedding, according to health officials. That person then attended a church service days later and exposed the people sitting nearby to the coronavirus.

Another wedding was held where more individuals were exposed.

“Please, continue to treat our Amish neighbors with kindness and support, while taking steps to limit your exposure to this outbreak,” said Ashland County Health Commissioner Heather Reffett.

There are at least six confirmed cases, with nearly 70 currently in quarantine.

Amish weddings have been a point of contention during the coronavirus situation – for example in Michigan and another settlement in Ohio.

As things open up, an increase in cases is expected. But here’s the most concerning bit of this report:

One of the individuals who tested positive works at an assisted living facility. Public health officials are working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within the facility.

As we now know, the elderly and people with specific health conditions are the population groups by far most at risk from this virus. The young and healthy factor more as potential carriers that can spread the virus to these higher-risk groups.

It would be wise for people with regular contact with older and higher-risk populations – like assisted living and hospital workers – to continue to avoid placing themselves into situations where they are at elevated risk of acquiring the virus.

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    32 Comments

    1. john h

      Lies

      coronavirus is a lie and is very common, almost everyone has it, and the tests are not even testing for the actual “virus” – and it is not contagious but has to be literally injected. the stupid authorities are just trying to demonize the Amish.
      Do NOT listen to them.
      A virus is a NON-LIVING thing and CANNOT mutate and is in actuality an EXOSOME. This is nothing but communist, anti-Christian CONTROL by a few.
      Coronavirus is COMMON and 99.7% totally harmless and a non-issue.

      Satan is the father of all lies. his unregenerate filth do his bidding.

      Trust in the Lord. Do not fear a virus or any man. In Jesus Name.

      AND WHATEVER YOU DO, DO NOT GET THE VACCINE EVER.

      1. GAIL

        This Man is an Idiot

        Do not trust what this man is saying. Look at the scientific information that has been presented, follow what doctors and scientists are telling us and pray alot. Do not let an idiot convince you that this is a conspiracy. The Amish refuse to wear masks, gather for church and weddings in the hundreds, ignoring social distancing and believe it is Gods will. I refuse to have anything to do with them and I do not buy their products or visit their businesses. Tgeir lack of concern for others is astounding.

        1. Elam Peachey

          Corona-fear

          The Corona virus has caused a pandemic of fear and anxiety in the American people’s lives. Suicides have spiked, those in need of medical assistance have stayed home and died,
          financial stability and dreams have gone down the drain for many, domestic violence have increased, etc.
          I know a large number in my community that have tested positive for the virus. The common symptoms are loss of taste and smell.
          I also know an 84-year-old survivor that has had about every health problem possible the last eight years.
          In light of all this, it seems rather extreme not doing business with the Amish because they don’t wear a mask, and you don’t feel like they are practicing social distancing.

        2. Lisa Moore

          Sorry you feel that way but I support Amish and there beliefs we all need to trust God and Pray for our Country and I would rather purchase from Amish than China.

        3. Jb

          Why?

          Why are you on an Amish website? Do you crawl out of the darkness to attack those who believe covid is a conspiratorial nightmare?

        4. Victoria

          YOU Are The Liar!

          And one of THEM! Go away Commie creep!

      2. Jb

        Somewhat I agree

        I agree covid is a terrible and evil situation that has affected my life and what freedom I have, but why do any “englishers” deserve to live with it more than Amish people? It might be a complete lie that any Amish people have it, what about all the older people who have died? Does anyone know amy? I don’t. I can’t say I know many elderly folks but I’m not seeing a massive amount of funerals. Blessed are those who can enjoy life on their 100 acre farms, or even their quarter acre back yards. Do Amish people wear masks if they go to a store? How do I get away from this awful experience? I can’t think of a way. I hope the insanity stops. In Jesus’ name, and any other blessed name for God himself, please end it.

      3. Amish and COVID

        John H: Another Qanoner!

    2. Joe

      Please ignore this person!

      This person is obviously unhinged and is spewing out dangerous misinformation. As a matter of fact, Erik, this post is dangerous and should probably be removed. Don’t worry about first amendment rights, which only applies to the government restricting speech. As a private individual owner of this web site you can remove any content you find inappropriate.

    3. John H

      Poor sad non-thinkers

      How sad and pathetic for a grown
      man to tell others not to think and research
      for themselves, but simply to frantically “ignore this person!”

      What a stupid sad person this is.

      I am the opposite of unhinged and if you would DO SOME RESEARCH
      from DOCTORS AND PHD’s who are saying the EXACT SAME THINGS, you would be ashamed of yourself.

      And you warn Erik to “not worry about the first amendment” – another mindset of stupidity that wants to censor diverse opinions that differ from mainstream groupthink.

      DO SOME RESEARCH.

      Read your BIBLE, too.

      The WORLD HATES CHRIST AND CHRISTIANS, especially those separated from this ugly world system. They will come after the Amish. IT starts by blaming and demonizing them. You, sir, are a wolf in sheep’s clothing for acting in this way.

      NO TRUTH-SEEKER FEARS RESEARCH AND OTHER OPINIONS. You are a small-minded, scared individual. Read Psalm 91 and repent of sowing lies and fear.

      The Amish need to be EDUCATED. Which you are not.

      this is a CONTROL issue, not a health issue. You are pathetic.

      True Spirit indwelt believers in Christ KNOW in their innermost being this is not right, and that it needs to be opposed and exposed.

      1. John you earned getting blocked.

        Not so much for the content of what your wrote (though most of it – but not all – I do not endorse) but for the personal insults:

        “What a stupid sad person this is.”

        “You are a small-minded, scared individual.”

        “You are pathetic.”

        etc.

        I suppose you’ll classify me the same now. That’s fine.

        1. Geo

          Trolling

          Erik, good for you. Facebook, Twitter, etc are calling BS on this stuff.

        2. Joe

          Thanks

          Thanks, Erik.

        3. Erik, my friend…., so glad you’re the moderator here and not me! At least I can just shake my head and turn to a different page while chanting the magic words that makes it all go away…, “No my circus…, not my clowns….) lol

        4. Jb

          One last comment, whoops

          Yet you let Gail call John an idiot twice? I’m disillusioned. You and the rest must not really like Amish people if their decision as a community to not wear masks and gather, which is a basic freedom, gets on your nerves. I don’t get the point except this is ridiculous, annoying nonsense. I don’t know how anyone can turn on the tv and believe everything, another thing the Amish don’t do. I wonder if people look like morons from outer space with masks on to the Amish. I don’t think the generalized judgments of English people is appropriate by Amish people, but they have some things correct.

    4. Joe

      I have done my research

      A coronavirus contains RNA. It then invades cells forcing it to create more virus. During that process mutations can and do mutate. It has clearly been shown that the virus spreads through aerosol droplets from person to person. It does NOT need to be injected. I don’t even know where you get such misinformation. Do you have any links to prove your point. My information is available from widespread sources.

      1. Geo

        Kremlin trolls

        These dis-information trolls are working to sway the 2020 election.
        Not that hard to spot. I thought everybody knew about this, but, oh well.

        https://www.cyberscoop.com/russia-ira-troll-farm-disinformation-outsourced/

    5. Geo

      Liars who lie

      Sounds like this site has attracted another Russian political troll. To those who can think, it sounds like mental illness but it’s intended to sow seeds of dissent. That’s their modus operandi. (Is that you Putin?)

    6. Jewels

      Ohio COVID-19 Outbreak

      My husbands Aunt was in the hospital with a non COVID issue. The nurses told her they wished people would take the virus seriously and use caution when going out. They should know when you consider what they see and know that goes on in the hospital.

      Wonder if the person is anti-Amish and spewing information to cause them a great wide spread of the virus.

      I do realize God is in control of the whole pandemic issue, but he still gave us common sense and tools to use to protect ourselves.

      1. Geo

        Anti

        Not anti Amish but anti American. Unfortunately, few seem aware of the The Kremlin-backed Internet Research Agency, an internet troll farm housed in a three story building in Moscow. They tampered in the last Presidential election, and I’d say they got what they wanted. Their strategy is obscure but it aims to stir people up by trolling internet sites with divisive ideas.
        Geez, just Google it huh?

    7. Full Disclosure: No, I’ve not done my research, because unless one has an adequate background in medical micro-cooties they probably don’t really have the necessary knowledge to critically process the information on the subject. (And no, five minutes of scanning wiki-medi-pedia or WebDoc isn’t “research.”) Shoot, I have measured either the dimensions of the cooties in question or the micro-gaps in masks to know if the former can slip through the latter.

      And no I have not walked the halls of DC to know what conspiracies are actually taking place, which aren’t, and what of all this is actually a smokescreen for something else being done in the shadows. In short, I’m just a smuck who don’t know nothing…, which basically puts me in the same place most everyone else is…, but at least I’m honest about it, and refusing to act in my ignorance as if I’m not only not ignorant but actually smart enough to point out others’ ignorance.

      So, being that I don’t know beans about the validity of the virus scare, I turn to something actually in the content of the article — something that just screams at me. As I understand it, at least the state of OH (if not on the Fed level), an outbreak is defined as “two or more” folks who get a bug. Two? Dos? As in 1 plus 1 — and that is an outbreak?! My question then becomes who in the world WOULDN’T expect an “outbreak,” based upon those parameters?

      When I was growing up I was one of three kids in the house, by this definition we had “outbreaks” all the time. An outbreak of measles; an outbreak of mumps; an outbreak of the stomach bug. And I remember a particularly bad year when we had a double-outbreak of something (Mom caught it, too). And there were outbreaks in a whole lot of the homes up and down our road, and all through our town — all at the same time. And if that happens in a house of 3 kids, then for heaven’s sake how much more is it likely to happen in a house of 6 or 8 or more kids like the Amish have?

      So, if in a group meeting of 100 only one person catches a bug, then okay, that’s normal. But let a second person get it (directly or indirectly), and boys you done got yourself one of them there full-fledged “outbreak” on your hand. SMH….

      I’m no doctor, but in my opinion I feel that the 6 confirmed cases (as stated in the article) doesn’t deserve the label of “outbreak.” It hardly fits the implications of a pestilence that is running amuck uncontrollably through a settlement.

      (And for the record, my beef over the term is not with Erik or the article here, but with whoever opted to force the term into an unnatural fit in the first place.)

      1. ^^
        Oops… I have NOT measured….

    8. Michael B Caron

      Doing business in Amish country

      I strongly believe in religious freedom. That includes a lot of folks who have faith in practices I find personally offensive and discriminatory toward those who do not share their religion. When 400 Amish assemble to celebrate a wedding in a pandemic, do not social distance, and decline to wear masks, it is incredibly irresponsible because there is a significant chance that such events will spread the COVID-19 virus not only to multiple Amish communities, but to the many non-Amish who do business with them.
      But before we non-Amish get too self-righteous about their lack of concern for their own elders or the English I think it is fair to look around at all the other Americans who do precisely equivalent things all day every day with no repercussions and certainly no better excuse than putting their faith in a God they sincerely believe is in control of such things. Most of the people ignoring the warnings do so merely because in inconveniences their lifestyle, or because they saw a post on the internet as scientific as the beliefs that unhinged anti-vax espoused in the first post in this thread. I will continue to shop with my Amish neighbors here in Maine, wear a mask when I enter their establishments, and wipe down the exterior of any products when I get home, just as I do when we return from the grocery store or anywhere else. There are plenty of non-Amish handling goods before you reach for them at WalMart or wherever you shop.

      1. Georgianne

        Being responsible

        A while back, near the beginning of the pandemic, I made a few comments in another post about the Amish continuing to have large weddings and not abiding by social distancing and face masks, etc. Although New York, where I live, was hit the hardest at first, by studying the way the pandemic was spreading it was really only a matter of time before it made it’s way out of the cities and into the more rural areas of America. I’ve always been fascinated with the Amish lifestyle, but their refusal to postpone weddings and large gatherings felt a bit selfish. As for what constitutes an outbreak, I’m having a hard time finding a definition of it being two people in a specific location. From what I can see, the CDC says an outbreak is a sudden increase in the number of cases over what is expected. If only two people were expected to get it in a sparsely populated area then maybe it’s an outbreak? No idea. What I do know is there has been study after study showing that wearing a face mask in public has helped keep the coronavirus from being as deadly as it might have been. And it’s been deadly enough. I absolutely hate wearing a mask. It’s hard to breathe, it fogs my glasses, and it makes me look even sillier than I do normally. But I’m wearing it because it’s the right thing to do. I’m not just doing it for myself, I’m doing it for everyone I come in contact with, and all the people they then come in contact with, and on down the line. The goal has always been to limit the deaths and to keep the healthcare system from being overwhelmed by too many cases in the same area at the same time. The Amish live in this country, so they should have respect for their non-Amish neighbors as well as themselves. As should anyone else who refuses to wear a mask. As someone said, this isn’t — or shouldn’t be — a political issue, but one of health. It also shouldn’t be a religious issue. Social distancing and wearing a mask is about loving your neighbor as yourself. Until we know more about all of this it’s been the best advice to follow to keep each other safe.

    9. Bill - from wisconcountry

      If you believe ...

      God helps those who help themselves, then you may believe, God helps those (to not contract the virus) who help themselves (by wearing masks and practice social distancing. Sounds logical to me.

      1. Jb

        God bless the mask makers

        I guess the companies selling masks and hand sanitizer could be enjoying covid time as the super rich bathe in luxury on their estates, maskless. With people like you will I need to wear a mask in public places forever? Help me, Lord. I’m glad Amish people don’t wear masks and other people don’t either. Unfortunately I believe I’m the person who will be chastised if I don’t.

    10. Romain Speisser

      Alsace evangelical & covid

      I hope that this community will not suffer the same accusations as what happened with us in Alsace.
      The same day, at the beginning of March, there was an evangelical gathering and the president of the republic visiting in the city of Mulhouse.
      Both events attracted quite a few people. Less than a week later, the uper Alsace had become a closter.
      But people from the surrounding area who were directly or indirectly affected by covid-19 took as scapegoats as those who were at the evangelical gathering. Poor pastor Samuel Petterschmitt, who organized the event, even received death threats.
      I sincerely hope that we do not put this label on the backs of the Amish who are “outlaws” by organizing parties like this wedding.

    11. Dale Ann Harsh

      A little information

      Smallpox: 10,000 BC. Mumps: 400 BC. Measles: 800 AD. Influenza: 1500 AD Chickenpox: 1500 AD. Whooping cough: 1700 AD. Polio: 1773 AD. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) which causes Covid-19: 2019 AD; approximately eight months ago as I write this.
      This indicates the amount of time the human immune system has had to deal with diseases you may all be familiar with. Some dates are determined by historical writings or descriptions of symptoms that scientists can now attribute to a particular disease. Some dates may come from genetic testing on ancient samples that we are now capable of.
      For the first seven in the list there are treatments and vaccines. In my lifetime for some of them infection was encouraged by having children intentionally exposed to other children who were ill. That was done because most of the cases were mild, and an immunity was conferred on the individual after they recovered. Treatments were available for those who contracted a more severe case…and, unfortunately, so of those people still died.
      If you recall your history you may remember what happened to people of the Pacific islands when Europeans introduced illness their population had never been exposed to. The same thing happened in the Americas. Those populations, those that were left, have since developed immune responses to those infective agents and they stand a better chance of surviving them if they become ill. And, as stated, there are vaccines and treatments for those who choose to avail themselves of them.
      The thing that confuses many about coronavirus is that it has been around a long time. Just about every mammal on the planet has met a version of it. Most of the time the many, many versions of it either cause mild symptoms, or none at all. But the virus does mutate and occasionally that mutation makes it capable of causing serious and/or wide-spread illness in vulnerable populations. Influenza is also capable of these mutations, hence the world-wide pandemic that was caused by the Spanish flu, or, H1N1, which, according to historical records, caused more deaths than the First World War.
      Statistics? Currently we know that if you get the flu you have a 0.1% chance of it killing you. Covid-19? 2%. But it’s still confusing because those percentages still change, based on your age and other health challenges you may be dealing with. And your access to adequate supportive health care definitely impacts your ability to survive it if you get a serious case.
      We don’t have any immunity to this new virus yet. There hasn’t been enough time to determine if people who have had the new virus, and survived, have any sort of immunity at all. There’s currently no effective treatment. There’s currently no vaccine. All of that is being researched by people all over the globe. Until then the only thing we have in our arsenal is distance, proper hygiene, and the use of barriers to slow down the transmission of the disease from one person to another.
      This little essay will never convince those determined to see this illness as a hoax, or a power grab, or as a bid to take their freedom. But maybe it will give those who are still on the fence a little to think about. If you aren’t sure, please err on the side of keeping people safe in the best way you know how…until we are sure, until there is a treatment, until there is a vaccine.
      Dale. 67. 42 years in healthcare. California, Los Angeles county.

      1. Joe

        Thanks for a great post, Dale

        A very well written, reasoned post. Good information.

    12. Mary

      Amish and face covering.

      Working in a busy medical practice, we are required to comply with the governor’s orders to mask ourselves and ask our patients to mask.

      I come from an Anabaptist background and have ancestors, understanding, and many traditions in common with the Amish. I have always respected their way of life.

      Recently, though, I have been hurt and disappointed by the refusal of many of my Amish patients to wear a face covering. I’ve been told that I’m “ridiculous” and “dumb” to request masking. I wear one to protect my patients and I would truly like to understand why they refuse to offer me and my other patients the same courtesy.

      In our medical practice, we may not turn away a patient for refusing to mask. The Amish are the majority of the people who refuse. Although many will comply if I offer them a mask at my expense, some have taken it and the refused to cover their nose or even mouth properly. Of course, some come in wearing their masks compliantly.

      I do choose to no longer support any business, English or Amish, which openly defies the recommendations of the entities working with the best information they have, to save lives. Five of my favorite businesses (English and Amish) have lost my custom forever over their choice of personal comfort and convenience over the health of others. I only wish the English and Amish who think these practices and personal distancing are unreasonable would refuse to support my business and find a place to go that also flouts best practices.

      Fighting ill feelings toward my fellow humans and striving to live in peace has become difficult as I struggle with resentment towards selfish and stubborn individuals. I also find masking personally stressful and difficult. But I do it because I care for others and my church does not tell me to do otherwise.

    13. Stephanie Berkey

      When will we get back to normal though? They told us at first the goal was to flatten the curve so the healthcare field was not overwhelmed. Then it was when we get a vaccine, then talk to force them on everyone, like the masks? So where is this all leading? The same place as the rioting? Less life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for the majority; more “power” for the minority? All in the name of good.

    14. Mike Caron

      Back to the Future

      Normal is not a place we will ever “get back to”, it is a time in the future where we disagree without demonizing, defend the right of every American, from Atheists to Amish and all religious worshippers from Allah to Zorastrians have the right to practice their beliefs without infringement from fanatics who believe only their way should exist in the nation. The Amish have never strived to be a part of “normal” American life. They do not social distance or wear masks because they strongly believe a version of Gods will that differs from most Americans, but neither do millions of Americans who believe this pandemic is a hoax, a political conspiracy to take away our “freedom”. This country has nearly 180,000 dead, more than all the Americans who died in World War I, the Pacific theater of World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War I fought in, or any of the wars since then. The Amish do not believe in war. Most of the folks who refuse to take up a mask to protect their fellow Americans would take up arms in a flash to “defend” America if the government said we were in danger. That is the irony of our self inflicted destruction. I respect the Amish right to refuse to bear arms or wear a face covering. Their refusal to kill fellow humans or to cover their faces are not what is keeping us so far behind the rest of the industrialized world in responding to the pandemic in a strategic science based rational manner.