Memorial Day weekend draws large crowds across the country

A jampacked pool party at a bar in Lake of the Ozarks has health officials in Missouri calling for revelers to self-quarantine.

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
SUBSCRIBE
By Minyvonne Burke

As states around the country ease up on coronavirus lockdowns, Memorial Day weekend festivities attracted large crowds with many people flocking to beaches, bars and other public spaces while forgoing rules on social distancing and wearing masks in public.

Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri

A jampacked pool party at a bar in Lake of the Ozarks has health officials in Missouri calling for revelers to self-quarantine. Nearby St. Louis County issued a travel advisory following the Memorial Day weekend celebration at Backwater Jack's in Osage Beach.

The bar threw a "Zero Ducks Given Pool Party" on Saturday, which drew a large crowd of partygoers, many of whom did not appear to be following the social distancing guidelines. In an advisory, officials said that anyone from the St. Louis area who attended the party should quarantine for 14 days or until they are given a negative test result for COVID-19.

"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," Dr. Sam Page, the county executive, said in a statement.

Revelers celebrate Memorial Day weekend at Osage Beach of the Lake of the Ozarks, Mo., on May 23, 2020.Twitter/Lawler50 / Reuters

Ocean City, Maryland

A boardwalk in Ocean City was crowded over the weekend, with many people not wearing masks. The city opened its boardwalk and beach to the public in early May and also lifted restrictions on hotels, motels and other rental properties to accommodate the crowds, NBC Washington reported.

Social distancing rules still remain in effect in Ocean City, but photos from the weekend showed hundreds of people strolling the boardwalk.

Houston

A Houston club came under fire after a video surfaced of a packed pool party it hosted over the weekend. Texas is one of many states that has relaxed its stay-at-home order and reopened businesses, including bars and clubs, to a 25 percent capacity.

It's not clear what percentage of capacity Clé Houston had reached during its party on Saturday. Mayor Sylvester Turner has threatened to close Houston businesses that do not follow state guidelines.

Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña said on Twitter that the department responded to about 300 complaints of violations of the governor's reopening orders during the Memorial Day weekend.

Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey

Hundreds of people gathered in Point Pleasant Beach, along the Jersey Shore, to protest the state's COVID-19 restrictions and to demand Gov. Phil Murphy reopen the state.

Many of those at the rally held flags and signs and seemed to ignore rules that people stay at least 6 feet apart.

According to NBC's Kathy Park, organizers of the rally said they gathered to help small businesses who are struggling. "They're hurting b/c this is when they make most of their profit," organizers said.

Daytona Beach, Florida

Authorities in Daytona Beach also spent Memorial Day weekend breaking up large crowds after hundreds of people gathered at a popular Florida boardwalk, according to NBC Miami. The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office in DeLand assisted police in Daytona with dispersing large crowds.

A video released by the sheriff's office showed roughly 200 people packed on a street outside of a store.

While some revelers ignored social distancing and mask rules, beachgoers in Clearwater, Florida, seemed to abide by the guidelines. The city's police department posted a video on Monday showing large spaces between beachgoers who were separated by cones.