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Atlanta Gay Club Shuts Down After Patrons Test Positive for COVID-19

Heretic

A video showing maskless dancers and no social distancing also sparked a backlash against Heretic.

Heretic, an Atlanta gay club, has suspended its events "out of an abundance of caution" after several patrons tested positive for COVID-19.

The positive diagnoses were reported to management following a June 20 dance party headlined by DJ Dan Slater. There were "dozens more feeling sick," a source told The Advocate -- although Heretic acknowledged only two confirmed cases in its public statements.

Last week, a video from the sold-out event showing shirtless men not wearing masks and packed on the dance floor sparked outrage on social media.

After the initial backlash, Heretic's general manager, Alan Collins, said the club would continue to hold events while enforcing health precautions like temperature checks and mandatory wearing of masks, which would be provided free of charge.

Now, after at least two guests confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses, the club, "out of an abundance of caution ... [will] postpone all scheduled events until further notice so we can continue to gather more information and adjust our operation accordingly," Collins wrote Saturday on Facebook.

"This is, frankly, a very confusing and difficult time for nightlife for customers and business owners alike," Collins said. "There is a stark contrast in the guidelines coming from the state versus the advice coming from the health community. Some people feel every non-essential business should close, and some think personal responsibility is key, meaning people should be able to decide for themselves. We believe it's both and want to do our part."

"Stay Safe and WEAR YOUR DAMN MASKS!!" he concluded.

On April 24, Georgia began easting restrictions during the health crisis, becoming one of the first states to do so. The state has seen a rise in infections during June and reported more than 2,200 COVID-19 diagnoses Sunday, a record high.

Mask-wearing in Georgia is not mandatory but has been strongly encouraged by Gov. Brian Kemp and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.

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