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Aberdeen Lagers Inn and Zoo Bar, Rapid City Super 8 and Buses Pose Coronavirus Risk

Covid-Schmovid—let’s go to the bar! Not:

State Health officials announced Saturday, May 16, that a patron of Lager’s Inn and the Zoo Bar in Aberdeen has tested positive for COVID-19.

The individual visited the establishments while able to transmit the virus to others on the evening of Saturday, May 9th during the following times:

  • Lager’s Inn Bar: 7:30 p.m.-10:45 p.m.
  • The Zoo Bar: 10:50 p.m.- 2 a.m.

Due to the risk of exposure, customers who visited this location during the specified dates should monitor for symptoms for 14 days after the date they visited [South Dakota Department of Health, press release, 2020.05.16].

The Zoo Bar did take precautions when they reopened May 7:

Zoo Bar update logo, 2020.05.06

Zoo Bar, coronavirus precautions, posted to Twitter 2020.05.06.
Zoo Bar, coronavirus precautions, posted to Twitter, 2020.05.06.

Let’s hope Covid John/Jane Doe followed the rules and drank by him/herself last weekend.

The Zoo Bar responds to the state’s harshing on their Double Froggers mallow with some pique at being singled out with Lager’s as a hazard zone:

Zoo Bar, tweet, 2020.05.16.
Zoo Bar, tweet, 2020.05.16.

Lager’s issued similar guidance prior to reopening and an identical response to yesterday’s infection risk announcement. Video from KELO-TV posted on May 11 shows what things looked like inside Lagers last weekend:


While Zoo Bar and Lagers say “This is not something that we take lightly” (another good example of the vagueness created when speakers use this as a pronoun with no clear antecedent), Lowell Punt, owner of Lagers Inn and Zoo Bar, has been retweeting items downplaying the risk of coronavirus:

Lowell Punt, retweet, 2020.05.14
Lowell Punt, retweet, 2020.05.14
Lowell Punt, retweet, 2020.05.14
Lowell Punt, retweet, 2020.05.14
Lowell Punt, retweet, 2020.04.18
Lowell Punt, retweet, 2020.04.18

But the state isn’t just picking on bars and restaurants. The Department of Health said yesterday that Super 8 stayers in Rapid City may have been exposed:

State Health officials announced Saturday, May 16, that an employee at Super 8 on 2520 Tower Road in Rapid City has tested positive for COVID-19.

The individual worked while able to transmit the virus to others on these dates and times:

  • Thursday, April 29th – 3 p.m. – 11 p.m.
  • Friday, April 30th – 3 p.m. – 11 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 2nd – 7 a.m.- 3 p.m.
  • Sunday, May 3rd  – 7 a.m.- 3 p.m. and 11 p.m- midnight
  • Monday, May 4th – 12 a.m.- 7 a.m [SDDOH, second press release, 2020.05.16].

Even the bus is a health hazard:

State Health officials announced Saturday, May 16, that a Rapid Ride Transit driver has tested positive for COVID-19.

The individual worked while able to transmit the virus to others on these dates:

  • Saturday, May 9th :9 a.m. -5 p.m, Rapid Ride Jefferson Route
  • Monday, May 11th: 1:20 p.m. -5:50 p.m., Rapid Ride Washington Route [SDDOH, third press release, 2020.05.16]

You can do without the bar. Stay home. If you have to travel, consider staying at places where guests and workers aren’t concentrated. And on the bus, whether you’re riding or driving, wear that mask.


  1. Richard Schriever 2020-05-17

    Broadly reported on the national news this AM that SD has the highest rate of increase in cases of any state. I’m out of state and staying out for a while.

  2. grudznick 2020-05-17

    This is indeed bad news. To be less vague, grudznick has been know to ride the Rapid Ride when my granddaughter can’t drive me.

    Mr. Schriever should definitely stay away. Never mind that the increased testing the libbies whine for will result in more positives. Gotta whine if they do, gotta whine if they don’t.

  3. jerry 2020-05-17

    I think those bars are full service so not just whine, but beer and whiskey too.

  4. Donald Pay 2020-05-17

    I wouldn’t patronize any business owned or operated by that Punt character. He’s getting his information from nutcases, not science. He says he’s taking precautions, but his attitude seems to be that he’s not taking it very seriously. I wouldn’t trust him. And he’s whining about the information being public so people can make their own decisions regarding the fairly high risk that going to one of his establishments poses.

    I’d never set foot in Mr. Punt’s businesses, and I hope others stay out, too.

  5. jerry 2020-05-17

    The lobbyist, Alex Azar of HHS, says that in areas that are opening, no increases in the Covid19. So the Zoo and Lagers, nothing happened there…got it. Alex Azar, the lobbyist, also says that the spikes are coming from areas that are closed. So there ya have it, clear as mud. Just keep dying, gotta hit that magic 240,000 KIA’s.

  6. Joe 2020-05-17

    Local news is reporting the death of the Rapid City Super 8 employee.

  7. grudznick 2020-05-17

    I know nothing of this Mr. Azar, but let us not rush to judge him because of the color of his lobbist name tag.

  8. grudznick 2020-05-17

    Mr. Pay, do you know Mr. Punt? It is a rather fun name to say. Punt. If you know him, can you describe his belly shape and his haircut?

    If you move back, you could go into business with the fellow and get a whole new look at him. “Pay and Punt, Inc.” could dominate the urban-hippy cabana-pub scene in Rapid City.

  9. Debbo 2020-05-17

    Those red states are doing their part and not keep the COVID-19 numbers up. I really wish they wouldn’t. It’s bad enough without heeding Economic Oaf’s urging to improve the economy by sacrificing lives.

  10. T 2020-05-17

    Obviously this guy doesn’t have a PR person. This is the most unprofessional behavior I have seen in a long time. Not a care or word about the person who tested positive or family. The could die from this. If employee are tested for temps why not patrons? I had emergency dentist visit in Aberdeen, they checked my temp. I sat in car until I was waived to come in. I am one who wanted security checks at schools and schools events, now I’m adding a temperature gauge to businesses. I want to know if I ever go out in public the person 6 feet away who will share the same bathroom, (what did the zoo do with their BRstalls? And sinks if they are taking all precaution) has a temperature.
    I’m with DP on this one, don’t want to do business with someone like this. If you own a business keep your twittering to non controversial subjects

  11. Richard Schriever 2020-05-17

    grudznuts seems to be of the Trumpian mindset that it is testing that is somehow CAUSING the disease – not simply revealing its presence – which would otherwise be an unknown.

  12. Donald Pay 2020-05-17

    Grudz, I know Mr. Punt as well as I know you.

  13. grudznick 2020-05-18

    There’s a great covid sign or campaign slogan for you:

    Punt now, Pay later!

  14. Scott 2020-05-18

    Socially distancing in a bar is like going in the hog barn to improve your personal body smell.

    I tended bar a few times in college. There is no way you can socially distance behind the bar, socially distance with the servers or with your customers. In a small town quite bar, yes I could see this happening, but not in a larger noisy bar.

    If bars are allowed to be open, they should require a much earlier closing time, like midnight. Take it from experience behind the bar, once you start getting past 11 or 1130pm in a bar, things start of happen.

  15. Debbo 2020-05-18

    Scott, I did the same and completely agree with you on all counts. Bars are not only centers for stupid, but that will lead directly to sharing COVID-19 with a big roomful of your best friends.

  16. Debbo 2020-05-18

    In Minnesota everything but bars, restaurants, massage parlors, hairdressers, churches and similar “touching” places are open now. The rest will be open June 1. A guy who owns about a half dozen bars in west central Minnesota said he was going to do the “patriotic, Murkin thing” and open one of his bars today! In fact, he called the AG last week to tell him. He might have called news reporters too, I’m not sure.

    Now if he really wanted to open his bar in a relatively small town, he could have just done it and might have gotten away with it for several days. AG Keith Ellison, a fine person, did not back down. He told this bozo that he’d be looking at fines up to $25,000 and possible jail time. So bozo blusters up a storm on social media and starts a Go Fund Me. He says it’s not for him, oh no! It’s for court costs because he’s going to fight this, stand up for the little guy, it’s the murkin way! $175,000 was the latest total I heard.

    Today a crowd lines up to get into bozo’s bar, but when the time comes, our bozo steps out, bullhorn in hand. (You’d think he had this all planned out.🤔) He tells the people he can’t open due to the mean old gubmint. He’s actually tearful because he so dearly wanted to stand up for all the little guys Just Like Him.

    Many of us Minnesotans are wondering what’s going to happen to that $175,000? 🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔 It just gets curiouser and curiouser.
    (I’ll bet AG Ellison will keep an eye on that $175,000.)

  17. jerry 2020-05-18

    The young man shot and killed by police in Rapid City had the Covid19. There is a whole story on this, but the guy got out of a car and started shooting at police so they shot back and he died in the hospital. So all of those folks that were around him, the cops, the emergency workers and the hospital folks, along with others, all got exposed.

    That’s what happens when you have $1.25 BILLION in hard cash and you stick your head up your nether region and fight for air. We need testing testing testing, and not for $200.00 bucks a test either. Dumbest governor ever.

  18. mike from iowa 2020-05-19

    Maybe the young man preferred suicide by cop rather than slowly suffocating to death.


  19. leslie 2020-05-19

    With demonstrative driving going on all day and night its a surprise Allender’s cops pulled this kid over for a “routine traffic stop”. Driving with Gun. Another NRA failure. Grdz you are such an attention seeking troll, like your president. (As stupid as Trump speaking of which he knows not. See Atlantic “The TICKET” Rep Ruben Gallegos, D. NM, ret., Armed Srvcs Cmmttee, USMC Iraq combat vet) 1.9.20 podcast interview.

  20. Donald Pay 2020-05-19

    I have several campaign slogans, Grudz, as my name is pretty easy to market. “Pay now or pay later” has universal appeal. I also like “Pay it forward” or “Pay them back.” I actually think slogans are a tad 20th Century. Just run on your experience and positions on issues.

  21. grudznick 2020-05-19

    Mr. Pay, you are the sort of fellow, libbie as you may be, that grudznick could get behind if you lived here in the Great State of South Dakota. You could do the “pay it forward” news clips, and grudznick could go out and do all the “pay them back” things. There are a lot of paybacks in the works.

    Donald is a good name, these days, as well. At least to some.

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