Palmer’s three bars along South Colony Way closed for 72 hours in response to reports of a person who had tested positive for COVID-19 that went to Klondike Mike’s on Friday night.
The fourth annual Rhymefest hip-hop celebration was scheduled for Saturday from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Klondikes, but the indoor portion of the event had to be canceled. The Mat-Su has had 235 cumulative residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 and 168 persons are listed as active. Over the last 7 days, 42 Mat-Su residents have tested positive for COVID-19 and 12,566 Mat-Su residents have been tested, accounting for 12 percent of the population. Statewide, 817 of the 1,784 total cases are listed as active with 98 new resident cases announced on Monday, four of which were in Palmer.
“For a person who has supposedly tested positive to try to come out is not acceptable,” said Palmer Bar owner Wesley Artz. “A lot of the bars have people that go back and forth between each bar and we’re just trying to make it a safe environment for our guests and for our employees.”
After the alleged incident on Friday night the Palmer Bar, Klondike Mike’s and Moosehead Saloon all remain closed until Monday. Palmer Bar will open at 4:30 p.m. for taco Tuesday. Artz said that he had spoken with the other bar owners on the phone and the three decided to close down the bars on their own volition without being ordered to do so.
“We feel like we have a moral and social responsibility to our guests and our customers and our staff and that’s why we did it, because even if it’s all hearsay we want to play it on the safe side,” said Artz. “We don’t want people to get sick.”