Ontario Amish & Mennonites Tied To COVID Increase

I’ve seen a lot less coverage of the Amish & COVID north of the border, perhaps because their populations are smaller and/or because I’m less plugged in to the Canadian media. It may also be – and this is just speculation – because Canadian media is less likely to publish stories readily identifying the subject with their religious background? I seem to recall such a Canadian story recently, where you had to read between the lines to infer that the people involved were Plain.

perth county canada amish

In any case, it appears COVID cases are up in one rural area where Amish live. Via the Stratford Beacon Herald:

A spike in COVID cases in rural Perth East, including six confirmed Friday, has been partially linked to the area’s Amish and Mennonite communities, the region’s top doctor says.

“There are a lot of cases among households,” Miriam Klassen said Friday. ”What we’re finding is there are several people in one household and there are connections to other households. … These cases connect also to North Perth, I think some in Huron. They connect to Waterloo and Wellington.

“These are households that have close-knit connections to other households, churches, schools and other settings. … These are mostly Amish and Mennonite residents.”

I believe this would be the Milverton community, home of by far the country’s largest Amish settlement. The article notes the closure of a Northside Christian school, “after a staff member’s positive test was also linked to the spread of COVID-19 among Perth East Amish and Mennonite communities.”

The grouping of the two together makes it unclear whether this is more an issue in one or the other community. The name of the school is not typical of the Amish, who tend to give their schools names that don’t include the word “Christian” or religious references. This leads me to believe that it might be more of an issue in Mennonite circles, and possibly non-Old Order Mennonites. Canadian readers might be able to fill in more between the lines in this case.

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