COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A Columbus club was cited by the Ohio Investigative Unit (OIU) for health order violations Saturday night.
According to the OIU, Aftermath Columbus was cited for improper conduct — disorderly activities.
The OIU said agents arrived at the club at approximately 9:30 p.m. Saturday and witnessed “egregious violations of health orders.”
Agents said approximately 500 people were attending a concert at the establishment, where they said they saw the dance floor, stage, bar, and table sections all crowded with patrons with no regard for social distancing.
Agents also said they observed customers standing, walking freely, and sharing alcohol from the same bottle being passed between groups.
The OIU also claims most of the crowd and employees were not wearing masks.
“Our agents, basically, it was just a concert environment,” said Eric Wolf, the enforcement commander for the OIU. “There was very little going on as far as any attempt for social distancing. If you had taken that event and put it in 2019, it would have been pretty much the same concert, same event that was taking place last night.”
Wolf says agents have seen similar scenes at establishments in other parts of the state but also added it’s not something they’ve observed a lot of.
“As far as the size of the crowd, the complete disregard for department of health orders, yes this is the extreme side,” he said about what agents saw at Aftermath.
Most establishments are following the health orders. According to Wolf, 286 citations have been issued in 23,242 checks since mid March.
In addition to Aftermath Columbus, Putnam Tavern in Zanesville was also cited for improper conduct — disorderly activities Saturday night for an incident on Dec. 4.
These cases will go before the Ohio Liquor Control Commission for potential penalties, including fines and/or the suspension or revocation of liquor permits
Attempts to reach Aftermath Columbus were unreturned.
Gov. Mike DeWine’s “last call” order signed back in July expired on the last day of November and has not been renewed by the state. However, there is a 21-day 10 p.m. curfew for the state as well as a 28-day 6 p.m. stay-at-home advisory in Franklin County, both of which are scheduled to expire unless renewed by the respective governmental bodies.
The curfew is scheduled to expire this Wednesday, Dec. 9, while the stay-at-home advisory is set to expire the following week on Friday, Dec. 18.