The Geauga County Health District has received numerous complaints that some Amish residents in the area are not practicing social distancing, which is needed to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Health Commissioner Tom Quade said some residents have expressed concerns that those in the Amish community are still holding church services, going to school and riding in packed vans, known informally as 'Amish taxis' that transport them to grocery stores or their place of work.

"(The Amish are) not all the way there yet, certainly, but they are making progress," Quade said.

Holmes County is home to 23,000 Amish citizens — nearly half of its total population. The county’s health department is getting the word out to this community about social distancing and COVID-19.

Health Commissioner of the Holmes County General Health District Michael Derr said Amish citizens in the area tend to be more progressive, and they are following media reports about the virus and protective measures.

He said his department sends out mailings with updated COVID-19 information every week to leaders in the community.

Medical personal protective equipment (PPE) is in short supply nationwide due to a surge of COVID-19 patients. Companies have shifted production to make equipment for the crisis, and individuals are stepping up to sew homemade masks.

One community highly equipped to help meet this need is the Amish.

Paige Pfleger / WOSU

"It’s a typical mammogram room—if you went to a hospital it would look exactly the same," says mammographer Valerie Rice. "It’s nothing really different, except that it’s in a moving vehicle!"

There are more than 35,000 Amish people living in Holmes County, Ohio.
Paige Pfleger / WOSU

Holmes County is a patchwork of farmland. Modest houses perch on sloping hills and laundry hangs from clothes lines, flapping in the wind.

Air Force Senior Airman Antoinette Fowler shows a 4-year-old how to give a vaccination during a teddy bear clinic at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.
Ilka Cole / U.S. Air Force

As public health officials in Washington state scramble to contain a measles outbreak in the Pacific Northwest, some of their counterparts in Ohio suggest it is time to change the state law that allows parents to easily opt out of vaccinations.

Five Injured, One Killed In Two Amish Buggy Crashes

Dec 4, 2017

One person was killed and five others were injured in two separate crashes involving Amish horse-drawn buggies in Ohio on Sunday.

Researchers from the Indiana Hemophilia & Thrombosis Center (IHTC) and Northwestern University say a genetic mutation in some Old Order Amish living in Indiana protects them from effects of aging.


Join us for our weekly look at new developments in the tech world. As questions concerning their role in Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election emerge, Facebook continues to investigate manipulation of and diagnose the security of their advertising algorithms. Amish communities embracing new technology in their businesses and homes try to balance opportunity and access with traditional values.

Later, we look under the hood of the upcoming iPhone 8 and iPhone X smartphones and discuss industry reaction to their announcement with Russell Holly.

Prosecutors in Cleveland are asking a federal judge to hand down the same sentences to those convicted in the Amish beard- and hair-cuttings when all 16 are resentenced next month. The members of the northeastern Ohio Amish group are scheduled to be resentenced March 2 after the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned their hate crimes convictions. New sentences are required because the original sentences were based on hate-crimes convictions and convictions on other charges and did not differentiate between them.

10 am

Amish hate crimes. It’s not a common phrase, but in 2012 members of a breakaway Amish group were convicted of federal hate crimes against members of their own faith. Recently a court overturned those charges, potentially redefining laws regarding victims from protected classes. We’ll discuss the current case, and look back at the violence a peace-loving community perpetrated against itself.


A Closer Look at Ohios Amish Community

Sep 24, 2012

10:00 15 members of a break-away Amish group face a decade in prison on hate crime charges after a series of beard and hair-cutting attacks on fellow Amish in northeast Ohio. The case made headlines around the world and shined a light on this unique and very private community. On this hour, we'll look at the case and the Amish community in Ohio. Guests