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Two downtown Auburn bars voluntarily close doors due to COVID-19
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Two downtown Auburn bars voluntarily close doors due to COVID-19

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Downtown Auburn Aug. 22

Southeastern Bar in downtown Auburn has a sign inside telling its patrons to wear a mask. Large crowds of people gathered at bars in downtown Auburn on Saturday night despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people were not wearing masks or social distnacing.

Two downtown Auburn bars are voluntarily shutting down their business due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Southeastern Bar, which has been packed with maskless people since Auburn University students returned to campus, and 17-16 both announced their closures Wednesday in social media posts.

Jon Hyink owns both Southeastern and 17-16.

“We have decided to take the proactive step of voluntarily shutting down our business out of an abundance of caution while we monitor the impact of Auburn University’s reopening on-campus activities,” the statement reads. “This decision does not come lightly, but we feel that at this time it is the right thing to do for the health, safety and welfare of our customers and employees who we value so much.”

View this post on Instagram

For immediate release: ... Since reopening in May, we have been closely following the data and press releases from EAMC, Auburn University Medical Clinic, and the City of Auburn daily and stand ready to modify our Covid-19 responses as needed based on guidance from the State of Alabama and best practices from the National Restaurant Federation and the CDC. ... While Fall semester will always be our favorite time of year, 2020 has presented new challenges with the student population downtown. While the debate on the virus’s impact on the student population continues, we have decided to take the proactive step of voluntarily shutting down our business out of an abundance of caution while we monitor the impact of Auburn University’s reopening on-campus activities. This decision does not come lightly, but we feel that at this time it is the right thing to do for the health, safety and welfare of our customers and employees who we value so much. ... Our team at 17-16 continues to work diligently to follow and exceed the state-wide Covid-19 guidelines. We encourage everyone to take Covid-19 seriously and hope our college customers will help us by following the rules. We love our Tigers and our community and will continue to serve our customers at the right time while encouraging everyone downtown to follow the guidelines so we can all get through this challenge together. ... War Eagle, 17-16

A post shared by 1716 (@1716auburn) on

Auburn city officials said earlier this week that they are looking at new enforcement options after bars were packed with students, who were ignoring COVID-19 restrictions for a second week.

Downtown Auburn bars were ticketed Saturday night by Auburn police.

Southeastern’s announcement comes days after Auburn University reported 202 students and five employees tested positive for the virus between Aug. 18-21.

The university also announced Tuesday night it is limiting all in-person gatherings to no more than 50 people.

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