LOUDONVILLE, Ohio (WJW) — The Ashland County Health Department (ACHD) on Tuesday warned the public of a COVID-19 outbreak in the Amish community in the Loudonville area.
In a news release, the health department said, “An outbreak is declared when at least two or more individuals have tested positive for an infectious disease. There are currently 6 confirmed cases (5 Ashland residents) affiliated with this outbreak, with several tests pending, 69 individuals in quarantine, and an unknown number of unreported illnesses.”
ACHD said one of the positive cases from the outbreak is someone who works at a local assisted living facility. Nurses from the health department are working closely with the facility to prevent the spread, according to the release.
The Ashland County Health Department said the “index patient” — the origin of the outbreak — went to a wedding and was exposed to a family member who was sick at the end of May.
Several days later, those sitting next to the “index patient” attended a church service and developed COVID-19 symptoms on Monday, the release stated; following that, another wedding was held where more people were exposed to the virus.
**Read more on coronavirus including Ohio’s response**
“Please, continue to treat our Amish neighbors with kindness and support, while taking steps to limit your exposure to this outbreak,” said Heather Reffett, ACHD’s Health Commissioner. “The health department is actively working to ensure that everyone who needs to be tested is tested and that those who need medical treatment have access to health care. The most effective measures that we have to prevent the spread of the virus is individual behavior as well as enforcement of isolation and quarantine orders. It is critical that those who have been exposed remove themselves from the general population.”
The health department said Ashland currently has 31 positive cases of coronavirus. Twenty-four people have recovered; seven are recovering. Sixty-nine people are being monitored as part of the outbreak, while another 72 people have been exposed.
**Information from the Centers for Disease Control on the spread of the virus**
Additional information about COVID-19 is available on the Ohio Department of Health website, www.coronavirus.ohio.gov. ODH also staffs a call center 7 days a week from 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. The number is 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).
**Watch a past report, below, of charges filed after a large Amish party in Geauga County during Ohio’s Stay-at-Home order**