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The Pressroom in downtown Phoenix ordered to shut down for violating COVID-19 protocols

The Pressroom - ADHS Photo.png
Posted at 8:57 PM, Jan 20, 2021

PHOENIX — The Pressroom, a popular concert venue in downtown Phoenix's Warehouse District, was ordered to shut down Wednesday and had its liquor license summarily suspended after the venue apparently hosted an indoor concert over the weekend that appeared to have little social distancing or mask-wearing, both violations of the state's COVID-19 safety protocols, the state said.

Videos surfaced over the weekend of an apparent concert being held at the venue. The Arizona Republic reported that the concert was for rapper Polo G. An event listing on the website Eventbrite does show a past event for Polo G at The Pressroom.

"Social media footage from an event held at the establishment on Saturday, Jan. 16, showed a lack of distancing and mask-wearing required, both of which are required for at-risk businesses," the Arizona Department of Health Services said in its announcement.

The state also said that The Pressrooms' owners had not signed or submitted the state's attestation form, a requirement for some businesses to reopen under the state's guidelines.

Events larger than 50 people are prohibited in Arizona unless they receive special approval from DHS, the county, or the city the event is being held in, part of an executive order signed last year by Gov. Doug Ducey in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dan Wilson, director of communications for the City of Phoenix, said The Pressroom did not engage with the city's special event committee nor ask for approval.

"The Pressroom is not an entity that our special event committee ever engaged. They did not approach the City of Phoenix for approval on any events," he said in an email.

According to The Pressroom's website, the indoor venue can hold at least 1,000 people, has a bar, and two VIP viewing areas.

Wednesday night, The Pressroom said in an Instagram post that "due to circumstances beyond our control all events at our venue will be postponed until further notice."

ABC15 has reached out to The Pressroom for additional comment.

Under the state's executive orders, most businesses, including restaurants, bars, and movie theaters, must reduce their capacities by at least half, require masks, and maintain social distancing, among a number of other requirements.

Health officials have long recommended that people wear a mask, stay home, and avoid mass gatherings as the best efforts to not contract or spread COVID-19.