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Outside reach of Omaha mask ordinance, Bushwackers draws criticism over crowded bar pictures

Published: Nov. 12, 2020 at 9:02 PM CST
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RALSTON, Neb. (WOWT) - Pictures posted to Bushwacker’s Facebook page are drawing criticism. They show customers mingling and dancing without a mask.

6 News asked the business’ director of facilities Ben Kautz about them.

“Looks like a typical night,” Kautz said

Ralston does not have a mask mandate, so face coverings are optional to guests and employees. The pictures in question were also taken before the governor’s most recent health measures went into place.

Bushwackers said while they want to offer a fun evening out they also have safety measures including marked off tables, temp checks at the door, and posters reminding people to stay spaced out.

“I know after a few drinks it can be difficult to remember that so we have those posted everywhere just to keep that in the back of their mind,” Kautz said.

When pictures were posted, some of the reaction was negative. 6 News asked Kautz whether he thought the event was dangerous.

“Do I think what is going on here is dangerous? But ‘dangerous’ is a perception. We want to make this as safe for anybody in our 12,000-foot space so they can come in and hopefully de-stress from what our current society is,” Kautz said.

We counted one person dancing with up to nine partners. In other photos, Congressman Don Bacon is also unmasked while addressing the crowd, though distanced a few feet from others.

A statement from a Bacon spokesperson said:

“Congressman Bacon was invited to speak at an event in Ralston during the halftime of a Husker game. While there are no DHMs in the city of Ralston mandating the use of a mask, Rep. Bacon attempted to be six feet from people when speaking so he could do so without a mask. In addition, he did pose for a brief picture with people who requested one. He encourages people to wear masks where required or when they are not able to social distance.”

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