Person Who Partied at Lake of the Ozarks Tests Positive for Coronavirus

May 30, 2020
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An individual who spent Memorial Day weekend partying in Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri has contracted COVID-19.

Photos and videos of crowds packed into pools and bars without practicing social distancing or wearing masks went viral earlier in the week.

On Friday, health officials disclosed at least one person who attended the celebrations has tested positive for the novel virus, reported CNN. The unidentified individual "developed illness" and potentially infected others.

"Camden County Health Department has been notified of a Boone County resident who has tested positive for COVID-19 after being in the Lake area on May 23 and 24," read a statement. "The case arrived here on Saturday and developed illness on Sunday, so was likely incubating illness and possibly infectious at the time of the visit.”

The department released a timeline of the various bars and restaurants the infected person attended in hopes of tracing other individuals that may have come into contact with them.

"The public who may have been in these places is asked to please monitor for symptoms. ... If you develop symptoms, please contact your physician and isolate until test results are known," officials said.

After the images of the partygoers went viral, an owner of one of the establishments, which the infected individual visited, spoke out defending his decision to reopen.

Backwater Jacks Bar and Grill owner Gary Prewitt posted a response letter on Facebook and declared he didn’t break any laws.

“No laws were broken. Social distancing is not a crime. As stated by the Camden County Sheriff," the letter stated.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson called the parties that didn't practice safe social distancing a "poor decision" and mentioned the dangerous situation it creates for the home communities that people who were at those parties will return to.

Missouri had recorded 12,795 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and at least 738 deaths, according to the state's health department.

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