Atlanta nightclub postpones events after 2 test positive for COVID-19

The Heretic, on 2069 Cheshire Bridge Road, is one of Atlanta’s earliest lesbian establishments and has remained a safe space for members of the LGBTQ community for close to 50 years, according to preservationist Charles Paine. JULISSA CANAS / JULISSA.CANAS@AJC.COM
The Heretic, on 2069 Cheshire Bridge Road, is one of Atlanta’s earliest lesbian establishments and has remained a safe space for members of the LGBTQ community for close to 50 years, according to preservationist Charles Paine. JULISSA CANAS / JULISSA.CANAS@AJC.COM

Popular nightclub Heretic Atlanta is postponing scheduled events after two patrons tested positive for coronavirus following a June 20 dance party at the northeast Atlanta venue, the general manager announced in a Facebook post.

Social media posts circulated last week that patrons who attended the event featuring DJ Dan Slater contracted COVID-19. On Saturday, Heretic general manager Alan Collins said two people who attended the event told him they tested positive for the virus.

Collins made the decision to postpone events until further notice so the gay-owned and operated nightclub, which reopened June 5, can gather more information and adjust their operations. Patrons who purchased tickets to upcoming events will receive refunds.

“This is, frankly, a very confusing and difficult time for nightlife — for customers and business owners alike,” Collins said in the lengthy Facebook post. “There is a stark contrast in the guidelines coming from the state versus the advice coming from the health community. Some people feel every non-essential business should close, and some think personal responsibility is key, meaning people should be able to decide for themselves. We believe it’s both and want to do our part. Our responsibility is to our staff and our customers.”


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Heretic's announcement comes just as Georgia reported 2,225 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, a new record since the start of the pandemic, according to the Department of Public Health. The state also reported more than 11,000 new cases of the coronavirus from June 21 to June 27, a new one-week record of confirmed cases.

The increased cases also coincide with the state easing restrictions, allowing nonessential businesses to reopen. Gov. Brian Kemp eased restriction for nightclubs, allowing them to reopen June 1 at 35% capacity and requiring them to meet 38 other guidelines. Texas and Florida closed their bars after seeing an uptick in coronavirus cases in their respective states.

Kemp doesn’t plan to impose new restrictions or require the use of masks to combat the spread of the coronavirus in Georgia, he said Friday at a media briefing.

Collins said the nightclub is committed to hosting events over the next few months that will make social distancing easier to maintain and urged patrons to support other gay-friendly establishments such as the Atlanta Eagle.

“Please have patience with us as we navigate this unprecedented situation, and we look forward to seeing you soon,” he said.


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