KC medical community frustrated by viral Memorial Day gatherings

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Posted at 4:21 PM, May 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-26 18:16:47-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Medical experts are encouraging partygoers who attended a blowout at the Lake of the Ozarks this Memorial Day to get tested for COVID-19.

“I can’t believe what I’m seeing," said Dr. Lee Norman, secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. "It was so, not right.”

The KDHE issued a travel advisory Tuesday, recommending a 14-day self-quarantine for anyone at the lake this weekend who did not follow proper safety protocols.

“It’s important that all people act in a responsible manner and when they aren’t acting responsibly... to call them out on it," Norman said. St. Louis County issued a similar travel advisory on Monday.

On a call with local media Tuesday, Kansas City, Missouri, Health Department Director Dr. Rex Archer encouraged anyone who visited the party to get tested and self-quarantine.

Norman said it's likely that people who were at the party could unknowingly spread the virus when they return home.

“They will go back to their respective counties, cities and maybe even different states, and the risk is extremely high that some COVID-19 virus will go home with them," Norman said.

Kansas City-area doctors are urging the public to follow social distancing policies despite reopening processes escalating.

“It was certainly a shock," Dr. Dana Hawkinson, infectious disease specialist at the University of Kansas Health System.

Experts say education and warnings could not be enough and that it will take a cultural change and community investment to continue progress against the virus.

“Having consideration for other people and doing some things to help prevent (the spread). Because some of those other people may be people that you know and may be people that you love," Hawkinson said. "That’s why it’s so important to boil down to all of us individually, to try and do the right thing."