Health officials report coronavirus outbreak at Dells strip club

A strip club in the Wisconsin Dells is the site of a COVID-19 outbreak, health officials say.

In a June 19 advisory, the Juneau County Health Department said patrons who visited Cruisin’ Chubbys Gentlemen’s Club between June 10 and June 14 may have been exposed to the virus and should monitor themselves for symptoms.

The club had announced its reopening on Facebook two weeks prior to the exposure period, writing that it was “open and back in action.”

Juneau County health officer Amanda Dederich declined to provide the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel with a number of cases tied to the club, citing an ongoing investigation. 

An outbreak is defined by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services as two or more laboratory-confirmed cases of the illness within the same facility, or tied to the same event, within 28 days of each other.

General Manager Lantz Roberts said that Cruisin’ Chubbys knew of only four positive tests among its staff.

He said more than a dozen other employees had been tested, but those tests had come back negative so far.

Dederich noted that the club had been compliant with health regulations upon reopening — including that staff had been wearing masks during the time of exposure. 

Roberts said that the club shut down for three days after the positive tests to sanitize and work with the health department on safety measures, which included getting better airflow in the building. He added that the club had already reduced seating, and tries to distance patrons from each other and entertainers —  though that can be hard. 

“I get a lot of ‘This is America, I can do what I want,’ when I ask people to follow the guidelines,” he said. Patrons at the club are not required to wear masks. 

The health department reminded the public to practice social distancing by keeping 6 feet away from non-household members, maintaining proper hand hygiene, wearing face coverings and staying home when sick. 

As of Monday, Juneau County had reported 30 total cases of COVID-19.

Dederich said that people should be “really identifying” whether their activities are essential, noting that churches and graduation parties have also been identified as potential sources of infection. She said people should keep in mind that the spread of the disease is erratic. 

“Whenever you are in a public setting at this point you will most likely be in contact with someone who is positive,” she said.

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