Ohio police break up Amish barn party for violating stay-at-home orders

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Sheriff’s deputies in Ohio reportedly made one arrest after breaking up an Amish barn party over the weekend due to the state’s social distancing orders.

Local news affiliate Fox 8 reported that one person was arrested for disorderly conduct and another issued a court summons in Geauga County for violating the governor’s order. The gathering was reportedly broken up Saturday night after a man called 911 to report a violation of the state’s ban on large groups.

“There is some concern out there and we are getting reports of large gatherings happening,” Geauga Sheriff Scott Hildenbrand told Fox 8. “If we get calls, or find out about them, we will go there, break them up and get them out of there. We won’t tolerate this and we have to keep everybody safe.”

Ohio’s Amish community, which numbers approximately 76,000 people, has not been immune from the coronavirus pandemic that has swept the nation in recent weeks. Local health commissioners have reportedly warned Amish leaders about alarming rates of infections.

“It is disappointing,” the county’s health commissioner, Thomas Quade, said, referring to the gathering that was broken up, according to Fox 8.  “I wish it wouldn’t happen. Those folks are all placing themselves at risk.”

Quade added in a separate interview with The News-Herald that members of the Amish community, as well as all Ohioans, should be doing more.

“We just drive down the street and you can see all the people that are still walking around doing nonessential things,” Quade said. “So I don’t know if anybody’s taking it as seriously as they need to, but it’s not a particularly Amish problem. I think they’re taking it as seriously as the general public.”

“My concern is that [no one is] taking it seriously enough, but all you can do is lead the horse to water. We’re trying to get them all to start drinking a little bit,” he added, according to the News-Herald.

Ohio health officials have confirmed more than 13,700 cases of coronavirus in the state, as well as 557 deaths from the disease.

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