Lake of the Ozarks bar responds to pool party controversy: 'No laws were broken'

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OSAGE BEACH, Mo. (KMOX) - The owner of the Lake of the Ozarks business featured in many viral photos and videos over Memorial Day Weekend is standing by his decision to be open and says they didn't break any laws. 

Backwater Jacks Bar and Grill owner Gary Prewitt posted a response letter on Facebook Tuesday evening.

He also stressed the name of the event – "No Ducks Given" – had nothing to do with the current global coronavirus pandemic. He says it's an annual event that took place on Memorial Day Weekend for the third year in a row.  

No covid concerns at the lake of the ozarks-- #loto pic.twitter.com/Yrb4UNM64u

— Scott Pasmore (@scottpasmoretv) May 24, 2020

"Our business is seasonal and nearly a third of our season has already been lost. The initial shut down has already had a tremendous impact on many of our staff and their families," the letter states.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on Tuesday called the parties that didn't practice safe social distancing a "poor decision" and mentioned the dangerous situation it creates for the home communities that people who were at those parties will return to.

Related: Gov. Parson: 'Poor choices' were made at Lake of the Ozarks parties

Memorial Day Pool Party in the Ozarks! https://t.co/TcuOqim8Df via @YouTube #COVIDIDIOTS Anyone who didn’t practice CDC, DHSS, and KCMO Health Department social distancing guidance should self quarantine for 14 days if they have any compassion for others.

— Rex Archer, M.D., M.P.H. (@RexArcherMD) May 26, 2020  Health leaders in the St. Louis and Kansas City areas want a two-week quarantine for those who were traveling with – or live with – someone who's more likely to get infected. 

Related: St. Louis County issues travel advisory in wake of Lake Of Ozarks holiday partying As businesses start to reopen, the health department's also recommending businesses screen their employees and ask questions about Memorial Day weekend travel.

Parson said did he witness some safe social distancing at his granddaughter's high school graduation at Sparta High School. 

You can listen to more from Parson, here.

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