City leaders, health officials outraged, after club in Hickory Hill hosts party

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Health officials and city leaders criticized a large party held in Hickory Hill over the weekend, as coronavirus deaths and cases continue to increase. 

 A large tent was brought in and set up next to the nightclub In love Memphis where the event was held in the parking lot, to create a bubble, that according to the organizer was created to still be able to have a large gathering despite COVID-19 restrictions.

The party held in what the event creator, Curtis Givens, calls a bubble. Givens posted on social media the annual “All Black Affair” would be held in the bubble because “due to everything going on the large venues are not able to rent, so we are bringing this massive tent like structure to the parking lot of Love.”

Givens went on to say it would feature 30 VIP sections, stage for performers, multiple bars, and a dance floor. Pictures and videos from people who said they attended the packed event flooded social media, which drew sharp criticism from city leaders and doctors. 

“Speaking personally and not for anyone else I found a couple of the things I saw online really unbelievably dangerous and spectacularly irresponsible,” Dr. Steve Threlkeld, an Infectious Disease Specialist at Baptist Memorial, said.

Threlkeld said the threat comes outside of those who attended the party. 

“Attached to any number of people at those parties, without people wearing masks, with people being close together are grandparents and parents,” Threlkeld said. “And we will no doubt lose some people because of such a gathering at this moment in time.”

WREG-TV attempted to reach out to Givens for comment and attempted to speak to someone at In Love Memphis, but neither responded.

The club at one point was ordered to close back in September after the Health Department said it violated health directives.

On Monday, a spokesperson with Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland’s Office said it’s extremely unfortunate some people choose to endanger themselves and others by attending large gatherings and not wearing a mask.

“With COVID-19 cases rising exponentially in Shelby County, it’s extremely unfortunate that some people chose to endanger themselves and others by attending large gatherings without wearing a mask. This was a violation of the health department’s current health directive. As we have for several months now and in addition to the Shelby County Sheriff, the City of Memphis stands ready to help the Shelby County Health Department with enforcement of their health directive as necessary and as needed.”

Ursula Madden, Mayor’s office

Additionally the spokesperson said, the event was a violation of the current health directive and the city stands ready to help the health department with enforcement of their health directive as necessary and as needed. 

WREG-TV has reached out to the health department and was told they would get back to us.

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