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Pool party at Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri draws a packed crowd

Video posted by a reporter shows partiers crowded together in a pool at the Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, this Memorial Day weekend. The gathering violates social distancing measures intended to limit the spread of Covid-19.

Posted: May 24, 2020 4:10 PM
Updated: May 24, 2020 4:10 PM

Video posted by a reporter shows partiers crowded together in a pool at the Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, this Memorial Day weekend.

Scott Pasmore, an anchor for CNN affiliate KTVK, shot the video at Backwater Jacks Bar & Grill in Osage Beach on Saturday.

The gathering violates social distancing measures intended to limit the spread of Covid-19. As part of Missouri's reopening plan announced earlier this month, state officials said restaurants may offer dining-in services but must adhere to social distancing and other precautionary public health measures.

Jodi Akins, from Blue Springs, told CNN in a message that she visited the bar with four friends for a pool party on Saturday.

"When we walked up my first words were 'oh my gosh' it was intense for sure!! Social distancing was nonexistent. However everyone was enjoying themselves. It was a very carefree environment but security was heavy!!" she wrote to CNN.

She said the bar took some safety precautions.

"They checked all of our temps and had thousands of little bottles of hand sanitizer!! They did a good job with what they had to work with!!" she wrote.

The bar posted on Facebook that this was its launch of a summer party called "Zero Ducks Given Pool Party." It advertised several DJs and bands performing throughout the event.

"The venue has worked with and taken the advice of government officials and management teams and will be following social distancing guidelines. Extra precautions and safety measures will be taken to provide a safe environment for you to enjoy the event," the bar said.

The bar said it would be operating at reduced capacity, attendants would be continually cleaning and sanitizing bathrooms and that there would be a paramedic on staff for the duration of the event.

Coronavirus is not likely to spread in water, the CDC says, but it does spread through people in close proximity. Staying at least 6 feet from others is particularly important at pools or beaches because masks are impractical in water.

For example, several people who attended a high school swim party in neighboring Arkansas contracted Covid-19, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Saturday.

Large turnout was expected

The Lake of the Ozarks expected a large turnout this weekend after getting a late start to the season because of the pandemic, according to CNN affiliate KTVI.

"It's supposed to be one of the biggest Memorial Day weekends we've seen at the lake here in years," Bill Morgan, manager of Robins Resort in Lake of the Ozarks, told KTVI earlier this week.

Adam Kirk lives in Osage Beach, Missouri, and shot a time-lapse drone video that shows the amount of boat traffic on the Lake of the Ozarks on Saturday at 4:30 p.m.

"It definitely seems like more (traffic) than last year," he said. "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."

About 11,800 people in Missouri have tested positive for coronavirus and about 680 have died from Covid-19 infection, according to state data.

Ed Yong, a writer at The Atlantic, cautioned that overcrowded pools may not represent the broader American public's attitude toward social distancing.

"It's much more compelling to show someone flocking out into a public space than to show, for example, me sitting at home and following guidelines," he said. "Yet the latter is probably more reflective of what most Americans are actually doing."

More than two-thirds of Americans are concerned about their respective states being reopened too quickly, according to a recent Pew Research Center poll.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 144544

Reported Deaths: 3729
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto963299
Hinds9584195
Harrison6848109
Jackson6124118
Rankin528598
Lee484295
Madison4633105
Forrest368186
Jones345287
Lauderdale3350143
Lafayette315049
Washington3097107
Lamar281849
Oktibbeha239261
Bolivar239083
Lowndes228863
Neshoba2164115
Panola211749
Marshall208350
Leflore200890
Pontotoc194728
Monroe190277
Sunflower189755
Lincoln186165
Warren172257
Tate164251
Union160925
Pike160458
Copiah158940
Yazoo151239
Scott150229
Itawamba147634
Coahoma147443
Pearl River144467
Simpson144253
Alcorn143925
Prentiss140429
Grenada136945
Adams136548
Leake131843
Holmes124961
George122224
Tippah121530
Covington117636
Winston116624
Wayne115823
Hancock114139
Marion111046
Attala107833
Tishomingo106142
Newton102729
Chickasaw102432
Tallahatchie95527
Clarke88553
Clay87027
Jasper81122
Walthall75028
Stone72414
Montgomery71925
Calhoun71613
Carroll70614
Lawrence70214
Yalobusha69427
Noxubee69217
Smith68816
Perry65225
Tunica59619
Greene58422
Claiborne57416
Jefferson Davis54217
Humphreys52618
Amite51214
Benton48417
Quitman4796
Webster42014
Kemper40917
Wilkinson38622
Jefferson33811
Franklin3235
Choctaw3077
Sharkey30617
Issaquena1114
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 236865

Reported Deaths: 3472
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson31043491
Mobile19446360
Tuscaloosa12684150
Madison12528146
Montgomery12122235
Shelby992276
Baldwin837684
Lee759765
Morgan626247
Calhoun6049113
Etowah600564
Marshall596153
Houston510838
DeKalb469635
Cullman421136
Limestone408844
St. Clair403955
Elmore398961
Lauderdale387253
Walker356199
Talladega339044
Jackson302524
Colbert297641
Blount282236
Autauga266139
Franklin246233
Coffee236615
Dale228454
Dallas222331
Russell21923
Chilton218537
Covington215933
Escambia196931
Tallapoosa171790
Chambers171448
Pike156014
Clarke155319
Marion135535
Winston126623
Lawrence123936
Geneva11848
Pickens117618
Marengo117424
Barbour116710
Bibb115717
Butler114341
Randolph100321
Cherokee99624
Hale93231
Washington89918
Clay89623
Fayette86216
Henry8436
Lowndes78929
Monroe77911
Cleburne75614
Macon71720
Crenshaw70330
Bullock69019
Conecuh68214
Perry6726
Lamar6337
Wilcox62818
Sumter56222
Choctaw41813
Greene41317
Coosa3144
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