State Watch

Employees quit over ‘catch the virus’ promotion at Washington state bar

Employees at a Washington state bar quit over their former employers’ “catch the virus” COVID-19 promotion. 

Vessel Taphouse owner Steve Hartley told The Daily Herald that four employees quit their jobs and three bands refused to play at the pirate-themed bar over the promotion. 

The bar promoted a concert on Jan. 22 by urging ​​bargoers to bring proof of a positive COVID-19 test to get $4 off of their tickets. 

“Come see the show, maybe catch the virus, or just stay home and whine,” Vessel Taphouse said in a now-deleted Facebook post. “Tickets 10 bucks or 6 with proof of omicron positive test. Have you had enough???”

Atrocity Girl, one of the band’s billed to play that night, released a statement on Facebook pulling out of the event. 

“After talking it over, we feel really disturbed that this post was ever allowed to be made. We do not condone this behavior and do not think COVID is a joke. While we want to play and love being out there, we encourage everyone to stay safe!” the band wrote. 

Atrocity Girl frontman Johnny Angel told CBS affiliate KIRO that he was shocked by the promotion. 

“I was appalled,” Angel said in a statement. “I was really, really disappointed that anybody could ever really make a post like that.”

Hartley said the promotion was “an ill-advised attempt at humor” and that the employees responsible have been fired from the bar, according to The Daily Herald. 

“We were getting comments that we were trying to infect the public,” Hartley said. “Clearly we have no interest in that. People aren’t going to come and drink if they get sick, and we know that.”

With the highly transmissible omicron variant now accounting for nearly all coronavirus cases in the U.S., the country was reporting upwards of 600,000 daily cases and nearly 2,000 daily deaths as of last week. 

According to Johns Hopkins University data, the U.S. has seen more than 885,000 COVID-19-related deaths since the pandemic began. 

Tags COVID-19 endemicity Omicron variant Washington

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