Concerns grow about coronavirus spread, large gatherings in Holmes County

MILLERSBURG, Ohio (WJW)– A retired nurse in Holmes County is raising the alarm about the spread of COVID-19 and the consequences of community members ignoring safety guidelines at mass gatherings.

“A lady I work with just lost her husband this morning from COVID and she is in the hospital with COVID, and so it’s starting to hit home,” Cheryl Shryock told FOX 8.

Shryock said she has witnessed Holmes County residents and visitors violating Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s mandates on mask wearing and social distancing in the Amish community and the non-Amish, or English, community.

“Large group gatherings, weddings of 300 plus, just no mask wearing, out and about without distancing,” Shryock said.

DeWine has said weddings and funerals are among the activities causing an increase in new cases.

Jason Justus, CEO of Pomerene Hospital in Millersburg, said there’s been an increase in COVID-19 cases at the hospital over the past 10 days, but he said it’s too early to say what’s causing that increase.

Shryock says she is concerned that doctors and nurses at Pomerene will be overwhelmed with new cases, if residents continue to ignore COVID safety guidelines.

“I feel what has worked other places can work here as well, if we just all are diligent with the mask, and distancing and maybe not have large family gatherings,” she said.

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