Last Wednesday, August 26, 2020 John Ross, Director of Clark County Emergency Management released the following statement.
COVID-19 Exposure Site
Clark County, Wisconsin – With contact tracing and case investigations being conducted in Clark County, the following location has been identified as an exposure site for COVID-19.
Thirsty Squirrel – Owen, WI 54460
Numerous cases of COVID-19 have been identified via lab-confirmed test results from individuals whom were at the location on the dates listed above…
…Management at the Thirsty Squirrel has been requiring staff to wear masks, and assures they have been taking necessary COVID-19 precautions. After each exposure date, the Thirsty Squirrel closed for a couple days to conduct thorough cleaning and disinfecting. The establishment continues to work closely with the CCHD.
The scene at the Thirsty Squirrel, owned by Mark and Kellie Hanson, was the hosting of weddings on the above-named dates. Apparently with no maximum capacity limitations, a reported 300 people attended one of the weddings. Social distancing was not practiced, an impossibility in such limited space, and masks were rarely to be seen.
To further exacerbate the concerns over the Thirsty Squirrel outbreak, owners Mark and Kellie Hanson attended two Owen City Council meetings, both times without wearing any masks. While the Thirsty Squirrel reported to the CCHD that their staff were wearing masks, attendees at both weddings refuted that claim.
Two teachers from the Thorp School District were tested positive for COVID-19, reportedly from the exposure at the Thirsty Squirrel. Thorp Schools have since postponed the start of the school year for two weeks.
In a follow-up to the outbreak, the administrator of a local Facebook page has requested that the Thirsty Squirrel remove advertising from that page.
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