Coronavirus: Health commissioner ‘horrified’ at photo of Catholic Central students at off-campus gathering

The Clark County Combined Health District Commissioner said he was, “horrified,” after seeing a photo posted to social media that he says appears to show Catholic Central High School seniors “mocking,” social distancing at a party.

Commissioner Charles Patterson said in a weekly Facebook Live on Friday that it was “very sad,” to see the students not taking social distancing guidelines seriously.

Patterson described the photo as a “large group” of students dressed in prom attire seen arm-in-arm in a yard in front of a large black poster that reads, “6 feet.” Gatherings of more than 10 people have been banned by Gov. Mike DeWine’s stay-at-home order since late March.

“They were all packed in together, holding that sign and mocking the fact that we are supposed to be social distancing and basically saying, ‘We don’t care, we are going to be this anyway,’” Patterson said. “That’s some people’s idea of something that is funny. I did not laugh at that. Especially because, at the time, I was dealing with a death certificate of someone who had just died.”

Patterson said he understands that as the health commissioner he “sees things through a different lens,” but thought the photo, “mocked” social distancing.

LOCAL: Restaurant in COhatch holds soft opening today, Saturday

“It is very difficult for the Clark County Combined Health District to protect our vulnerable citizens when so many individuals who are not willing to help us in this important mission,” Patterson said.

Catholic Central Interim President Tim Fogarty said in a statement sent to the Springfield News-Sun that Catholic Central was unaware of the gathering until “a member of our community forwarded us photos that had been posted to social media.”

“We have been told that this was held at the home of one of our seniors. If this is true, we are very disappointed that a member of the Catholic Central community would host such a gathering in defiance of Gov. Mike DeWine’s stay-at-home order,” Fogarty said.

LOCAL: Clark County government center to close early on Fridays due to budget cuts

About the Author