Health officials warn of high-risk COVID-19 exposure at Springfield adult entertainment club

Published: Sep. 17, 2020 at 12:15 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 17, 2020 at 9:34 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The Springfield-Greene County Health Department has notified the public of potential high-risk community exposures from at least four COVID-19 positive individuals.

Four employees at Showtime Joe’s, an adult entertainment venue on West Sunshine, tested positive for the virus and possibly exposed many others.

The health department hasn’t issued a health alert like this one in awhile. It tells KY3 this situation is different, not only because of the number of employees that tested positive, but because of the close contact and that the exposures happened over several days.

The individuals worked at Showtime Joe’s at 2209 W. Sunshine St. over the course of several days. These individuals and customers were inconsistently masked. The employees worked between 5 p.m. and 1 a.m. on the following dates:

  • Wednesday, September 2
  • Friday, September 4
  • Saturday, September 5
  • Monday, September 7
  • Tuesday, September 8
  • Wednesday, September 9
  • Friday, September 11
  • Saturday, September 12

“We wanted to be as transparent as possible and make sure people were aware," said Kathryn Wall, public health administrator with the Springfield-Greene County Health Department.

According to the health department, these individuals and customers were inconsistently masked.

”We didn’t feel completely confident that because this establishment does serve alcohol and drinks that there could be that masking was inconsistent, and we’re also not sure when it comes to staffing as well," Wall said.

Upon learning of this situation, the health department and Springfield Police Department are working together to investigate. There were no previous masking complaints against this establishment.

Face masks are required in public settings within Springfield city limits. Patrons of restaurants and/or bars must wear a face mask while seated except when eating and/or drinking. Anyone serving customers in any capacity must also wear a face covering. You can read the ordinance in its entirety here.

A 14-day quarantine is recommended for anyone who came in close contact with staff, or within six feet of them for more than 15 minutes.

“That’s cumulative, so it’s not five minutes then someone walks away and comes back another five minutes," Wall said. “That all adds up together and also any physical contact, so if someone touches you on the arm, if someone gives you a hug we would consider that to be a close contact.”

The business now has a sign on its door reading “closed for deep cleaning.” It also posted to social media that it has required temperature checks for staff and taken other measures to keep the building clean. Wall said this should be a reminder to people to continue to take precautions.

“I know a lot of people in my life say ‘well I feel fine I shouldn’t have to mask,’ or ‘I feel fine lets all get together," Wall said. "You don’t know because for at least two days before you have symptoms you can be infectious.”

COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It spreads between people who are in close contact with one another.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Copyright 2020 KY3. All rights reserved.

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