On Thursday, June 18, the Taney County Health Department released a statement announcing that a Branson tourist tested positive for COVID-19 after visiting both a Panera Bread Co. and Silver Dollar City on Monday, June 15.
The Taney County Health Department did not report where the tourist was from, nor if the tourist had recently been traveling anywhere other than Branson.
According to the Taney County Health Department, the tourist visited the Panera Bread Co. in Branson, located at 2407 Green Mountain Drive at 10 a.m. They were also identified at Silver Dollar City from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Taney County Health Department said that unless symptoms develop for fellow guests to both locations, they do not need to quarantine but should continue to monitor themselves.
Taney County Health Department said at both locations, the tourist was identified as unmasked against the newly established rules of Silver Dollar City.
Lisa Rau, director of public relations for Silver Dollar City, said the park will be reinforcing their masks-on rule. Security and leadership will have a presence in the park, and employees will check that all guests are wearing masks upon entry and within the park.
Rau said Silver Dollar City employees will ask guests not wearing masks to do so. If a guest does not have a mask, they will be approached and asked if they have one, as they are required.
Rau said “most often” guests pull their masks out of their pockets when asked. If a guest refuses to wear a mask repeatedly, they will be asked to leave.
“Many of us have brief conversations with the younger people about why we are doing this – some are receptive, some roll their eyes, as young people do,” Rau said. “The plan, if someone is a repeat refuser, is we can call security who will ask them again, or ask them to leave, wherein a raincheck or refund might be offered.”
Rau said the park has had a couple of people arrive at the front gate who refused to wear a mask and left. She said this is their “prerogative, as (Silver Dollar City) believes we are doing our best to do our part.”
In a June 18 press release, Dalton Fischer, senior publicist for Silver Dollar City, said safety protocols such as temperature checks, health questions, social distancing and masks were all in place during the tourists visit on June 15.
Fischer said guests should continue to check their own health status before entering the park and maintain all of Silver Dollar City’s safety protocols while on property.
Fischer reported employees are also to follow the protocols in addition to “thorough park-wide sanitation practices,” the Silver Dollar City website giving examples of wiping and sanitizing high touch areas like railings and queue areas.
Adric Hall, sophomore information technology major, said he would attend Silver Dollar City even though there had been a tourist with COVID-19. Hall said he is more worried about others catching the virus than himself, but after attending the park he said he would “make an effort” to quarantine himself.
Devon Frieze, an incoming freshman, said “it was bound to happen” after tourists enter a confined space. Frieze said he doesn’t plan on attending the park until the pandemic ends, or until “season passes show up for some reason on my front doorstep.”
For more information about the situation, the Taney County Health Department is located here.