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16th annual Raft Off event on Lake St. Clair held despite pandemic

Social distancing, COVID-19 not mentioned on event website

Large crowds gathered Saturday on Lake St. Clair despite the order banning large outdoor gatherings.

It was Raft Off 2020, an event held by the same group that hosts Jobbie Nooner -- another large boating event that was held normally this year despite an increase in coronavirus cases at the time.

Video of the scene captured large groups with little social distancing. The event’s website advertises the event as the “worlds longest Raft-Off” event and lists guidelines, but none are related to COVID-19, nor is coronavirus mentioned on the website.

Aug. 8, 2020: Michigan coronavirus (COVID-19) cases up to 86,889; Death toll now at 6,250

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered a ban on outdoor event with more than 250 people. The Raft Off website claims past events have had between 60,000 and 100,000 people.

READ: List of Michigan pandemic executive orders that are still active

Police told Local 4 they did monitor the event.

As of Aug. 8, St. Clair County has 684 confirmed coronavirus cases and Macomb County has 9,976.

Anyone who believes they might have coronavirus should follow the CDC guidelines. Michigan.gov has a list of resources available to those concerned about COVID-19.

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