Photo shows unmasked patrons at local concert, one says he later tested positive for COVID-19

Miranda Prescott, News Editor

A patron of Brother’s Bar in Jacksonville, who was part of a group photo that has since gone viral, said he has tested positive for COVID-19 after attending a concert at the bar on Aug. 22.

The concert has been the subject of discussion on social media after a photo taken inside Brother’s Bar in Jacksonville began circulating. The photo shows a large number of attendees not wearing masks and not social distancing.

Will McFry, a former JSU business student and Marching Southerner, said that he tested positive for the virus after attending the concert.

“This was the one time I didn’t wear my mask and I caught it,” said McFry. “Wear them. They work.”

The photo was originally posted by Hunter Chastain, the musical act for the concert in question, on his Instagram account.

“Corona wasn’t even invited,” said Chastain in the caption for the photo. 

Chastain, when contacted through his official Facebook page, declined to comment. Efforts to reach business operatives at Brother’s Bar for comment were unsuccessful.

“We got there pretty early for a pre-concert,” said McFry. “There weren’t that many people there when we got there. After about an hour, it got pretty packed.”

McFry said he started experiencing symptoms just one day after attending the concert, but that his fever did not start until the following Tuesday. He said he tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, Aug. 26, four days after the concert.

Dr. George Crawford, a physician at Anniston’s Regional Medical Center, confirmed the timeline provided by McFry and said that patients can start experiencing symptoms zero to 72 hours after exposure to COVID-19.

“It can be hard to tell if someone is having a cough because of COVID or something in their throat,” said Crawford. “But generally, we tell people if they are testing negative after three days of exposure, they should be fine.”

Out of everyone in attendance that night, McFry said, he only saw a few of the bartenders properly wearing a mask. This did not include himself, as he said he put his mask into his pocket.

He also said that he was not sure if Brother’s was taking precautionary measures regarding the health and safety of its patrons. 

“The bar said that they had a limit on the amount of people allowed in, but it was still pretty full,” he said.

Asked if he regrets going to the concert that night, McFry replied, “Yes.”

“This is definitely not the flu, and it’s definitely not fake,” he said.

As of Monday, there are 185 cases of COVID-19 actively being followed by the JSU COVID-19 task force. That number is up from the 164 cases reported on Friday.

Brother’s Bar lost their business license earlier this year after a shooting occurred at the bar in Dec. 2019. However, their license was approved by the city of Jacksonville in July of this year after being purchased by C&J Crab Shack, a business based in Gadsden, Ala.

Recently, bars and bar services have been suspended or closed for two weeks in Tuscaloosa, Ala. to help slow the spread of the virus at the University of Alabama. Since the university returned, they have recorded over 1,000 cases of COVID-19 on campus.

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