Recent coronavirus cases in Allegheny County tied to weddings, other events

Recent coronavirus cases in Allegheny County tied to weddings, other events

ALLEGHENY COUNTY, Pa. — Weddings and funerals have changed quite a bit over the last few months — we aren’t seeing them the way we are used to.

However, county health officials said people who have recently tested positive for COVID-19 may have gotten the virus at these events.

“It does not surprise me at all that there has been a surge at weddings because I have seen people that were supposed to not have more than 50 people outside have 175 people inside,” said wedding officiant Michelle Trumble.

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Trumble sees weddings during COVID-19 firsthand as an officiant, and she said what she has seen is troubling.

“I have officiated 20 weddings during COVID,” Trumble said. “A few people here and there will wear masks. Most people don’t. A lot of people are hugging. You can tell they haven’t seen each other and they give each other a big hug,” Trumble said.

In Allegheny County’s weekly news conference, the county’s health department director, Dr. Deborah Bogen, said recent contact tracing shows that more and more cases are being contracted through gyms, weddings and funerals.

Plus, Bogen said the median age for COVID-19 patients in the county have gotten higher. It’s now 45.

“There are also a lot of older people who were there. Grandparents, older aunts and uncles and they’re all together. Everyone is together, no masks, no social distancing,” Trumble said.

And because of that, she fears an end to COVID-19 being spread at weddings could be far from over.

“People just need to follow the rules right now because what’s going to happen is it’s just going to spread and spread and spread and then next year when these brides are planning these big weddings with 200 people, we aren’t going to be able to have them again,” Trumble said.

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