Officials in Missouri say they have not seen any new coronavirus cases linked to the crowds that gathered to party at Lake of the Ozarks over Memorial Day weekend, despite concerns that the widely-covered partiers were not practicing social distancing.
There was one person from another county who tested positive for COVID-19 last week after bar hopping at the lake on May 23rd and 24th (becoming symptomatic the second day), sparking concern that they were likely infectious during their visit and spread the virus.
What are the details?
KTVK-TV reporter Scott Pasmore took video footage from Backwater Jack’s Bar & Grill in Osage Beach on the Saturday before Memorial Day, and it spread like wildfire on social media. TMZ covered the story, warning readers, “If you need guidance on social distancing…look away.”
But it wasn’t just one bar. Videos showing parties at other Lake of the Ozarks establishments made the rounds, sparking what KMOV-TV referred to as “harsh words from local leaders.”
Packed pool party at Lake of the Ozarks shows crowd ignoring social distancing guidelines
Nearly two weeks later, Missouri’s director of the Department of Health and Senior Services, Dr. Randall Williams, says there have been no new cases of COVID-19 in the state stemming from Memorial Day weekend gatherings.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, when Williams was asked whether any further infections had been linked to Ozark festivities, he replied, “The answer, to our knowledge, is no.”
Gov. Mike Parson (R) noted that over the past month, the number of Missourians hospitalized for coronavirus declined by over 40%. Parson declared, “Our hospitals are not overwhelmed. Our positivity rate continues to decline. People are recovering, and we are moving forward.”
Missouri has had roughly 12,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, and more than 675 residents have died from the virus.
After more than a week of protests across the nation involving packed crowds of protestors demonstrating against the death of George Floyd, a number of pundits on social media have pointed to the fact that many of those who slammed the Lake of the Ozarks revelers have not criticized the lack of social distancing among protestors.
Matt Kibbe of BlazeTV said of the news that there were no new cases in Missouri, “I’m old enough to remember the existential rage of two weeks ago, but we’ve moved on to other ways of ripping Americans apart.”