Last Call: Wichita Bars and Nightclubs Close...Again

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Last Call: Wichita Bars and Nightclubs Close...Again

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On July 21, 2020, the Sedgwick County Public Health Officer closed all bars and nightclubs until September 9, a date the Sedgwick County Commission quickly amended to August 21. These photographs show two items that sat side-by-side at the front entrance of the Blu Nightclub in west Wichita, Kansas. The first alerts patrons to the club's mitigation efforts and what is expected of them upon entering the establishment, while the second, which was taped to the front door, informs customers that they are closed until August 22. Although no COVID clusters originated in bars and nightclubs, Sedgwick County contact tracers discovered that infected people had stopped at such businesses and possibly spread the virus even more.

Finally, note the owner's insertion of the word "Hopefully" on the left side of the sign. With federal aid expired and relief mired in a partisan deadlock in Washington, D.C., many businesses in Wichita, and across the country, feared the potentially fatal effects repeated closures would have upon their livelihoods.

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This item was submitted on August 4, 2020 by Aaron Peterka using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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