A person who partied at the ‘Zero Ducks Give’ Memorial Day Weekend event in Lake of the Ozarks has tested positive for COVID-19 – putting hundreds at risk of infection.
The Camden County Health Department said Friday that a Boone County, Missouri, resident tested positive for COVID-19 after being in the Lake area on May 23 and May 24.
‘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 said.
A Boone County resident who attended the ‘Zero Ducks Given’ party over Memorial Day Weekend has tested positive for COVID-19
Hundreds of revelers are now at risk of contracting the virus after crowds of people partied at the Lake of the Ozark reservoir in Missouri
Last weekend, hundreds of partygoers descended onto the Lake of the Ozarks area where they were seen shoulder to shoulder in swimming pools and ignoring social distancing.
Footage taken at the Lake area, including Backwater Jacks Bar and Grill in Osage Beach, showed several people without face masks.
Boone County Resident’s Timeline
Saturday, May 23
Backwater Jacks Bar and Grill: 1pm to 5pm.
Shady Gators/Lazy Gators Pool: 5:40pm to 9pm
Backwater Jacks Bar and Grill: 9:40pm to 10pm
Sunday, May 24
Buffalo Wild Wings: 1pm to 2pm
Shady Gators: 2:30pm to 6:30pm – 7pm
The Boone County resident took a taxi to a private residence at 7pm
Backwater Jacks Bar and Grill hosted a Memorial Day Weekend event called ‘Zero Ducks Given’ that attracted crowds of people and was criticized for flouting social distancing guidelines.
A timelapse video taken from that weekend showed dozens of boats swarming the Lake area in just 20 minutes.
The department added that because of the high number of people at risk of contracting COVID-19, they released a timeline of the person’s activities that weekend.
The infected person visited Backwater Jacks Bar and Grill twice and Shady Gators/Lazy Gator Pool once on Saturday.
On Sunday, the person spent time the restaurant Buffalo Wild Wings and was briefly at Shady Gators before returning to a private residence.
As of Friday, Missouri has recorded 13,028 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 711 deaths. The United States as a whole have seen 1,746,019 cases and 102,836 deaths.
Missouri health officials said the infected person was ‘likely incubating illness and possibly infectious’ while in the area on May 23 and May 24
The Zero Ducks Given Memorial Day Weekend party faced backlash over the lack of social distancing after photos surfaced on social media
On Tuesday, Missouri state officials told revelers who attended the Zero Ducks Given party to self-quarantine for two weeks after the extent of the party was revealed.
St Louis County Executive Sam Page slammed the hundreds of party-goers who crammed into pools, disregarding social distancing guidelines.
He said: ‘This reckless behavior endangers countless people and risks setting us back substantially from the progress we have made in slowing the spread of COVID-19.’
Despite a sign at Shady Gators asking people to keep six feet apart, people are seen crowding around the packed venue
A man and woman are seen kissing at Shady Gators, a multi-level bar and grill restaurant on Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri
‘What a nice day’: Blackwater Jack’s hosted their first party of the summer pool season despite the coronavirus pandemic. People were seen in a crowded pool at a venue decorated in flags
His comments come as timelapse footage shot from a local resident over just 20 minutes shows dozens of boats arriving for the boozy bash, breaching lockdown guidance amid the coronavirus pandemic.
A constant stream of white boats – packed full of party-goers – can be seen blasting across the water as they made their way to the Zero Ducks Given party at Blackwater Jack’s Bar & Grill over the weekend.
Further drone footage reveals scores of bikini-clad revelers drinking on ship bows as they fail to socially distance from each other.
Adam Kirk, who shot the footage, said: ‘It definitely seems like more (traffic) than last year. It seems like everyone is having the same idea, to come to the lake to enjoy summer, because you can social distance at the same time.’
Missouri’s health director issued a dire warning Monday after the photos and video showed weekend revelers partying close together.
‘When they then carry the virus and transmit it to a more vulnerable person, this is when we tend to see the long-lasting and tragic impact of these decisions that are being made,’ said Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Director Randall Williams.
Prewett (pictured) released a statement on Facebook saying no laws were broken because failure to observe social distancing ‘is not a crime’
In the wake of widespread backlash over his ‘Zero Ducks Given’ party, Prewett released this lengthy statement on social media
St Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson slammed the antics of the party-goers as ‘deeply disturbing’.
She said: ‘It’s irresponsible and dangerous to engage in such high risk behavior just to have some fun over the extended holiday weekend,’ KMOV reported.
‘Now, these folks will be going home to St. Louis and counties across Missouri and the Midwest, raising concerns about the potential of more positive cases, hospitalizations, and tragically, deaths. Deeply disturbing.’
But Gary Prewett, who runs Backwater Jack’s Bar and Grill and helped organize Zero Ducks Given, defended his party.
In a statement shared to Facebook, Prewitt maintained that ‘no laws were broken’ because a failure to practice social distancing ‘is not a crime.’
‘We understand that there are many emotions and feelings involved on every side of the pandemic situation… [but] we stand by our decision to move forward with Memorial Day Weekend plans,’ Prewett wrote.
‘We love our customers and will continue to do our best to provide delicious food, drink, and entertainment’.
Guests at the $10 Zero Ducks Given event at Backwater Jack’s were spotted hugging and kissing on Saturday afternoon. Zero Ducks Given organizers said they worked with government officials to kick off the pool season safely and stated on Facebook that there would be reduced capacity
Gary Prewett has defended his decision to host this wild Memorial Day Weekend party at Backwater Jack’s Bar and Grill over the weekend . Revelers are pictured packing into the venue’s pool and flouting social distancing guidelines
He added that staffers conducted non-contact temperature checks and provided bottles of hand sanitizers to keep revelers safe.
Prewitt said the decision to take temperatures ‘upset many customers, however it was an additional layer [of protection] we chose to implement’.
Prewett also asserted that ‘personal bottles of FDA-approved sanitizer’ were on hand throughout the party and insisted that staff were ‘given a choice as to whether they wanted to work without any negative consequences if they chose not to’.
The bar owner clarified that the name of the party – ‘Zero Ducks Given’ – had ‘absolutely no relation’ to the current coronavirus crisis and was not a dig at social distancing requirements or stay-at-home orders.
‘This is the third year of the event series that takes place each holiday weekend,’ Prewett explained.