A School In Illinois Closed Because A Bunch Of Idiots Spread COVID At A Bar

by Madison Vanderberg
Rafa Elias/Getty

Indoor bar triggers COVID-19 outbreak and local school closure

After a bunch of maskless individuals packed an indoor bar in rural Illinois in February 2021, 46 people ended up with COVID and the community was forced to shut down a school. Imagine needing to drink a beer indoors so badly that you cause a COVID outbreak and are the reason a bunch of kids couldn’t go to school. Though I can’t say it’s not the most American thing that’s ever happened, right up there with “maskholes” “Karens” and “the QAnon shaman.”

The CDC reports that a bar in Illinois held an “opening event” at the beginning of February, and although they don’t know how many people attended, the bar had a max capacity of 100 people, no air flow, and reportedly very little mask compliance that night.

That night out was later linked with 46 COVID-19 infections and it was revealed that four individuals went to the bar that night with COVID-19 symptoms. Of those 46 outbreak infections, 26 were patrons and three were staff members who attended the opening event, and the 17 other people infected with secondary cases, including someone in a longterm facility who needed to be hospitalized, student athletes at the local school, and families with children. Which leads us to the school closure.

“Transmission associated with the opening event resulted in one school closure affecting 650 children (9,100 lost person-days of school),” the CDC report said.

The school shutdown lasted for two weeks because 13 school staffers were “in isolation, in quarantine, or absent because their own child was quarantined.” In other words, what a damn mess.

Mind you, this is a state that decided it was absolutely fine to have schools open during a pandemic, so for them to close the school back down — that means this bar-related outbreak was actually, really bad. Alex, I’ll take “dumbest reasons to close a school” for 500 please. The CDC also concluded that it’s very likely the outbreak was actually much larger than their findings suggest, considering not all asymptomatic people would have gotten tested.

The kicker of this whole thing is that the CDC had to release this fancy press release and get their scientists to trace the outbreak all just to remind us what half of the country has known all along and it’s that “gatherings in settings where mask wearing and physical distancing do not occur are known to increase the spread of COVID-19.” Yeah, no shit, Sherlock. I don’t work for the CDC and I could have told you that a bunch of people got COVID-19 at the INDOOR BAR where nobody wore masks. Dah doi.

We’ve been at this for more than a year now. Please wear a mask so we can actually end this pandemic and go to bars without triggering COVID-19 outbreaks and forcing schools to close again. Doesn’t seem like a huge ask.