COVID-19 warnings spread in the Amish community


LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — In Lancaster County, there are medical professionals whose job is to reach out to the Amish regarding COVID-19.

Joanne Eshleman is the Director of Plain Community Relations with WellSpan Health.

“The plain community does value trusted relationships with providers,” Eshleman said. “They will often seek out alternative or complimentary medicine, but they do really listen to the medical community when it comes to messages of public health.”

Eshelman is one of those who are doing their best to keep the Amish informed.

“It is challenging to get information out in a timely fashion because they’re not using the internet for the most part,” she said.

She added that other community liaisons are also talking to church leaders and writing letters in newspapers which warn about the coronavirus pandemic.

Churches, schools, and social gatherings appear to have been shut down — which seems to indicate social distancing is taking place.

“It’s hard for us to truly assess how well they’re doing that,” Eshelman said. “I think the message is getting out through multiple channels.”

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has not provided a breakdown of COVID-19 cases in the Amish community.

Eshelman said if you’re looking for numbers pay attention to the thousands of masks that volunteers in the Amish community have volunteered to make for healthcare professionals.

“It’s a nice give and take with us being able to provide information to them and that group being able to help us in a different way through donations of that type of material,” Eshelman said.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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