After Party Puts Bar at Center of Virus Fear Firestorm, Owner Refuses To Back Down in Epic Statement
A Missouri bar found itself at the center of a firestorm after video of a party at the establishment went viral.
Now, the owner is firing back at critics with a defiant statement of his own.
According to KMOV-TV in St. Louis, the Memorial Day weekend party was held at Backwater Jack’s Bar and Grill in Missouri.
In the clip, nearly every patron is seen without a face mask and not practicing much social distancing during a party at the Lake of the Ozarks tourist destination.
The media and those fearing that this could herald a second wave of coronavirus cases were quick to criticize both the bar’s owner and those attending the party.
No covid concerns at the lake of the ozarks? #loto pic.twitter.com/Yrb4UNM64u
— Scott Pasmore (@scottpasmoretv) May 24, 2020
“This day at the pool will kill 10,000,” one user wrote.
Speculation about the bar’s flippant attitude toward the spread of COVID-19 was virtually demolished by Gary Prewitt, the owner of Backwater Jack’s.
“No laws were broken,” Prewitt wrote in a Facebook post, citing the Camden County Sheriff’s assertion that those attending were responsible enough to make their own decisions.
Next, it appears that the bar wasn’t exactly letting just anyone in, instead denying access to those who could be carrying the virus.
“Non-contact thermal checks were conducted at both entrances to the pool by medical staff hired for the event,” Prewitt explained.
Although this upset some customers, the staff turned away anyone running a high temperature.
While this measure might have prevented a few individuals with symptoms from entering, transmission by symptomless carriers remains a concern.
Those attending were also given hand sanitizer by the bar, free of charge.
The bar’s owner emphasized that his business is seasonal and the early stages of the American outbreak have already cost him a third of his season.
With lockdown measures enforced across several states and many afraid to leave their communities, Prewitt was facing potentially devastating losses.
Despite the make-or-break nature of this season, the bar says it didn’t force workers to come in for their shifts.
With America’s outbreak still ongoing, it remains to be seen if events like those held at the Lake of the Ozarks will spark hotspots of their own over time.
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