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Utah Lake Halloween party organizers must apologize for actions

Halloween party at Utah Lake
Posted at 11:19 AM, May 27, 2021

UTAH COUNTY, Utah — Organizers of an illegal Halloween party held last year near Utah Lake as COVID-19 cases were climbing in the state will be forced to apologize for their actions as a part of a no contest plea deal.

Owners Erik Little and Tanner Valerio of The Tribe Utah must also keep the Utah County Justice Court apprised of their addresses, each pay a $500 fine, and not break any future laws as part of the deal.

Approximately 10,000 people attended the party held at The Knolls in Utah County in violation of public health laws meant to stem the spread of the pandemic. Outdoor informal gatherings at the time were limited to just ten people.

Further, no plan was filed with health officials about how COVID-19 safety measures would be enforced.

Videos of the party showed hundreds of people dancing in close proximity and without face masks.

Fines of $10,000 against the organizers were levied by the Utah County Health Department.

Utah County Attorney David Leavitt referred to the party as a “superspreader event."

Dr. Eddie Stenehjem, an infectious disease specialist with Intermountain Healthcare, tweeted that if the party occurred as shown on video, “this will lead to more cases in the young, they will transmit to parents and grandparents.”

“More will die from COVID-19 because of this party,” he wrote.

Cases were dismissed against several of the nine people who were originally charged in conjunction with the party, though some are still pending.