As previously reported by The Inquisitr, photos and videos appeared on social media showing revelers crowded into bars, pools, and other businesses at Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks, a popular regional resort destination about 175 miles west of St. Louis. In some cases, signs could be seen asking customers to maintain a distance of 6 feet apart. However, those signs appear to have been largely ignored.
Now that the weekend is over and the revelers are back to their daily lives, health officials in Missouri’s two largest cities are asking those tourists to consider the consequences of their actions and take steps to remedy any damage.
Dr. Sam Page, a county executive in St. Louis County, called the actions of the Lake of the Ozarks revelers “reckless” and said that months of progress may have been lost in the battle against COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus.
The St. Louis County Public Health Department, in an advisory memo, called on those visitors to voluntarily self-quarantine for 14 days.
“Any person who has travelled and engaged in this behavior should self-quarantine for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result for COVID-19,” the advisory reads in part.
Further, the county health department is asking employers to ask workers about their recent travel and to screen them for health risks.
In Kansas City, Dr. Rex Archer, director of the city’s health department, also suggested that anyone who was in those crowds should go into quarantine.
“Anyone who didn’t practice CDC, DHSS, and KCMO Health Department social distancing guidance should self quarantine for 14 days if they have any compassion for others,” he tweeted, referring to Missouri’s Department of Health and Senior Services by its initials.
Missouri’s DHSS also issued its own warning, without directly referencing the Lake of the Ozarks situation. A bulletin issued on Monday warned that people can still be carriers of the coronavirus even though they have no symptoms. Such people can unknowingly bring the virus back home to loved ones who may be more at risk of contracting complications from the pathogen.
Back at the Lake of the Ozarks, Camden County Sheriff Tony Helms noted that failing to follow social distancing guidelines is not a crime and that his deputies can’t enforce it.
“We expect residents and visitors alike to exhibit personal responsibility at the lake,” Helms said in a statement.