Along with the couple, 32 guests have tested positive for COVID-19, including three of their grandparents, two of whom went to the ER

By Julie Mazziotta
November 18, 2020 12:04 PM
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Anthony and Mikayla Bishop
| Credit: WLWT

An Ohio wedding with 83 guests has turned into a superspreader event after nearly half of the attendees ­— along with the bride and groom — tested positive for COVID-19.

Mikayla and Anthony Bishop narrowed down their guest list from 200 to 85 people for their Cinicinnati-area wedding due to the pandemic. On their Oct. 31 wedding day, 83 guests attended, and now two weeks later, 32 have tested positive for COVID, including three of their grandparents, two of whom had to go to the emergency room for their symptoms.

"Weddings are definitely scary right now. I didn't think that almost half of our wedding guests were gonna get sick," Mikayla told WLWT. "You're in the moment. You're having fun. You don't think about COVID anymore."

The Bishops say they took some precautions — they had masks and hand sanitizer available when guests walked in for the indoor ceremony, and tables were spaced for social distancing. But the large wedding turned into a superspreader event.

"My big moment honestly was right when the ceremony started and the doors opened and both my parents walked me down the aisle. The first thing I see is I see everyone's face. And that's when I realized wow. Nobody's wearing a mask," Mikayla said. "I'm walking down the aisle. We can't do anything now."

"When I saw everyone not wearing masks I was just like, 'Oh, well I guess we're just gonna kinda go with it I guess,'" Anthony said.

The reception, they said, is when any COVID-19 precautions were completely ignored.

“I would say that that’s the turning point, after dinner and after cake,” Mikayla said. “That’s maybe the superspreader, the dance floor. Everybody is in each other’s face with no masks.”

After the wedding, the Bishops went off on their honeymoon, staying in a cabin in North Carolina. Anthony soon lost his sense of smell and taste, and Mikayla was knocked out by the virus, spending most of her days on the couch. That’s also when the wedding guests started calling, saying that they, too, were sick.

"Every single day we're getting a call. Oh here's another person. Here's another person. Here's another person. And it starts to take a toll on you," Mikayla said.

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Several weddings across the country have turned into superspreader events. One in Maine, held in August, has led to nearly 200 cases of COVID-19 and seven deaths from the virus, all in people who did not attend the wedding. Another in Washington state with more than 300 people this month has caused two separate outbreaks, and at least 17 guests have tested positive.

Ohio has since placed some restrictions on weddings held in the state, allowing no more than 10 people at a table, no dancing and requiring masks at all times, except for eating and drinking. However, there is not a limit on guests. The state is currently dealing with their largest spike in cases yet, and new infections have soared by 118 percent in the last two weeks, according to The New York Times.

The Bishops said that they feel guilty that their wedding turned into a superspreader event and that their grandparents got sick.

"What's crazy is that our grandparents were the only ones that wore a mask the whole time. They actually wore their mask except for when they were eating their dinner," Mikayla said.

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