Annual Jobbie Nooner boat party happening Friday despite pandemic

The boat party typically attracts thousands each year -- but the threat of COVID-19 looms in 2020

Lake St. Clair’s infamous Jobbie Nooner is still on for Friday despite a recent increase in Michigan’s coronavirus (COVID-19) cases and hospitalizations.

Lake St. Clair’s infamous Jobbie Nooner is still on for Friday despite a recent increase in Michigan’s coronavirus (COVID-19) cases and hospitalizations.

READ: Warning signs emerge in Michigan coronavirus data

Event advocates announced last month that the 46th annual event was slated to carry on as usual this year despite health concerns related to the pandemic. The Gull Island boat party typically attracts thousands of boaters each year.

The St. Clair Sheriff’s Office told the Detroit Free Press that they do not endorse the event but will be present to ensure the safety of partygoers.

“The thing is, it’s kind of an unmanageable event, and we have not endorsed it -- ever,” Deputy Steve Campau of the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office said. “Our goal -- and it has been for years -- is to keep people alive.”

Jobbie Nooner is not a formally organized event but it still takes place each year in June. Event advocates say they support police presence at the party.

“Please do not give them a hard time,” advocates asked partygoers of local law enforcement. “If you’re cool, they’re cool. If you get out of line, they rightfully will do whatever they have to do to keep the peace.”

Officials are also calling for social distancing at the event to prevent the spread of COVID-19 -- but they don’t intend to enforce it.

“There is really no way we would be able to enforce something like that out on the water,” Sgt. Marty Stoyan of the St. Clair County Sheriff’s marine division told The Detroit News. “It is an unsanctioned event and we hope that people will act responsibly.”

MORE: US virus cases continue to rise at near-record rate

How COVID-19 Spreads

Person-to-person spread

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Can someone spread the virus without being sick?

  • Spread is possible before people show symptoms. People who are not showing symptoms can still be carrying the virus and can still pass it on to other people.

Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

How easily the virus spreads

How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (spread easily), like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, spreading continually without stopping.

Prevention & Treatment

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

Click here for more guidelines from the CDC.

People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.

Question about coronavirus? Ask Dr. McGeorge here.

Read more about COVID-19 here.

About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.