Over 70 people have contracted COVID-19 while partaking in a socially distant event at an Ohio winery. The high number of cases have now raised alarms about possible outbreaks in rural communities, reports say.
Among the infected are Kati Finn and six of her colleagues. While at Leisure Time Winery in Napoleon on July 11, Finn participated in a “Name That Tune” game with 90 other guests.
“It’s insane to me that we all got COVID-19, and yet everything seemed so safe there,” Finn, a middle-school secretary from Defiance, Ohio, told the paper. She insists that guests were staying six feet apart and that servers all wore masks and gloves. “I don’t feel like there was anything they could’ve done differently to prevent this from becoming a center,” she continued.
Henry County health commissioner Mark Adams said that they became aware that people showed up to the event with symptoms afterward, but there were also asymptomatic people there.
“We didn’t have someone that was going up and touching people to give them coronavirus,” he said. “They were at a distance unmasked and were able to pass coronavirus onto them.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, the Winey outbreak is one of many reasons why rural Henry County has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Ohio, which tripled to 122 in July.
Adams believes that going forward; businesses should be more proactive in protecting the community.
“If you’re that restaurant owner and you see people that are essentially climbing on top of each other,” Adams added, “not social distancing, you absolutely, it is your responsibility to go and take an active role and get involved in public health.”
He also stresses the importance of self-quarantining to protect others. Meanwhile, Finn said she had to self-quarantine right away because she lives with her elderly parents.
“Had I not read Leisure Time come out with that statement, I would have never gotten tested, to be honest,” she said. “I felt like it was just like an allergy or sinus infection, and in Ohio, that’s a typical feeling this time of year.”
However, Finn revealed that she has since recovered after suffering from severe symptoms following the event.