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'Not a good idea': Health officials plead with public to avoid crowded bars Thanksgiving Eve

Bars doing what they can to make experience safer
Posted at 6:23 PM, Nov 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-25 19:23:37-05

OMAHA, Neb. — The night before Thanksgiving is one of the busiest bar nights of the year, but health officials say it's just too dangerous to be in crowded bars. Instead they recommend carry out or going to places that actively encourage safe protocols.

"It's typically a busy night at any bar scene, especially with us, having such a neat concept, people wanting to come out and check it out," Monster Club bar manager David Reynolds said.

The Monster Club in the Old Market has taken a unique approach to keep their customers safe - taking everyone's temperatures as they walk in, wiping down each surface and menu every time someone leaves, removing their bar seating completely and strictly enforcing masks.

"We just try to do our best to try to remind people in a positive way that it's not about us trying to be rude or anything, it's just trying to look out for the community and help people," Reynolds said.

The Douglas County Health Department launched a new statewide campaign last week to try to promote safe COVID-19 procedures called, "Do Right, Right Now."

Douglas County Health Director Dr. Adi Pour says doing the right thing Thanksgiving week is especially important. She recommends carrying out drinks and food, and staying away from crowded bars who don't follow safe protocols.

"Especially if tomorrow you're planning on seeing your grandma, that's probably not a good idea if you really care about your vulnerable family members," Dr. Pour said.

Bars have seen a huge financial strain this year so missing out on a big money night is understandably frustrating. But places like the Monster Club say their main goal will always be safety and hopes the community responds to that by continuing to support them.

"Definitely taken a very deep cut as far as financials go. But you know we're still rocking it out. We're able to pull something out of nothing, squeeze water out of rocks you know," Reynolds said.

Health officials say the main goal is to make sure that come Thursday everyone is healthy and safe and that the virus is not one of the things being served up at the table Thanksgiving Day.