Parson: Some Lake of the Ozarks visitors made 'poor choices'

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Posted at 3:19 PM, May 26, 2020

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Those who visited the Lake of the Ozarks over Memorial Day weekend and did not maintain social distancing practices made “poor choices,” but were “a small sample” of how Missourians honored the holiday, according to Missouri Gov. Mike Parson.

“[Not social distancing] is potentially dangerous for everyone, especially our most at-risk individuals,” Parson said.

Parson also said during a news conference on Tuesday that overall, he witnessed “responsible practice” by Missouri citizens.

The Lake of the Ozarks garnered national attention after a video circulated on social media of groups of people at an Ozarks establishment not social distancing or wearing facemasks.

St. Louis County officials on Monday issued a travel advisory for anyone who was at the Lake of the Ozarks and did not adhere to social distancing guidelines.

“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,” St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page said in a statement. “I encourage everyone to follow the Department of Public Health advisory to determine a safe path forward in the workplace.”

Following St. Louis County, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment on Tuesday issued similar guidance, recommending that Kansas who visited the Lake of the Ozarks and did not practice social distancing or wear facemask should self-quarantine for 14 days..

Kansas City, Missouri, however, is not expected to recommend such measures. In a statement provided to 41 Action News, Mayor Quinton Lucas said that while he has “great respect” for St. Louis County’s leadership, he does not plan to “issue a quarantine order we simply cannot enforce.”

Parson said that any positive COVID-19 cases related to Memorial Day weekend will not be reflected in state data for at least five to 10 days.