A recent Ohio wedding attended by 83 people has become the latest super-spreader event amid a nationwide surge in Covid-19 after nearly half of them tested positive for coronavirus, the newlywed couple said.
Among the 32 people to contract the virus were the couple, Anthony and Mikayla Bishop, and three of their grandparents, two of whom visited the emergency room, the Bishops said in an interview with NBC affiliate WLWT of Cincinnati.
“I didn’t think that almost half of our wedding guests were gonna’ get sick,” Mikayla Bishop told the station. “You’re in the moment. You’re having fun. You don’t think about COVID anymore.”
The outbreak linked to the Oct. 31 event comes as states across the country see surging case counts, overwhelmed hospitals and officials imposing new stay-at-home orders and fresh restrictions on venues like indoor businesses and schools.
Ohio is one of a dozen states where the number of new cases has spiked in the last two weeks, jumping from 221,000 on Nov. 2 to 305,000 on Monday, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University. Gov. Mike DeWine on Tuesday said Ohio will now be under a curfew in an attempt to halt the surge in his state.
In Cleveland, officials recorded so many new infections over the weekend that they couldn’t count them all in time for a briefing Monday.
“The City of Cleveland is experiencing an unprecedented surge in coronavirus cases, unlike anything yet reported during this pandemic,” the city said in a statement.
Public health experts have warned against holding large weddings amid surging case counts. Events in Washington State, New York and Minnesota have led to outbreaks, and after one ceremony in Maine, 176 people tested positive for the virus and seven died.
With the recent rise in cases, the Bishops told WLWT that they cut their guest list from 200 to 85 and distributed hand sanitizer and masks. But aside from the couple’s grandparents, few people appeared to wear masks, even while they let loose during the reception and were close to one another on the dance floor.
Mikayla Bishop started showing symptoms during their honeymoon in North Carolina, she told the station. The couple then cut the celebration short after getting a call that their grandparents were sick.
CORRECTION (Nov. 18, 2020, 10:09 a.m. ET): An earlier version of this article misstated the portion of wedding guests who tested positive for Covid-19. The current positive rate is 39 percent, so more than a third, not nearly half.