Regional chair's Oktoberfest photo gets backlash for not following health guidelines
KITCHENER -- A photo posted by Regional Chair Karen Redman showing people not following health guidelines while at an Oktoberfest celebration has landed her in hot water.
The picture posted Friday night shows people at the Schwaben Club sitting at a table not wearing masks as well as a group doing a ‘shotski.’
“I wasn’t taking into consideration all the efforts the Schwaben Club had gone to for physical distancing, sanitizer on the tables, everyone wearing masks until they were sitting down and eating and drinking,” said Redman. “Obviously that didn’t translate with the pictures that I posted.”
Reaction was swift online, with some commenting about the sacrifices people have made to follow health guidelines for both as well example being set for telling kids not to party.
Redman followed up the post with another tweet the next day:
Last night I posted something that got a lot of people's attention. I want to thank everyone for giving me feedback on what in hindsight I see was not the best approach. In supporting the community, I have regrettably upset people for not appearing to be adhering to the important— Karen Redman (@Redman4Region) September 26, 2020
Alfred Lowrick, the executive director of K-W Oktoberfest, says what’s in the photos can be explained.
“Our K-W Oktoberfest ambassador Erin Wetzel was with her parents in her bubble and they were enjoying the festival, just like anyone who went to a restaurant would be able to take their masks off and have that discussion without a mask on and enjoy the meal,” he said.
It’s also believed that everyone who partook in the shotski was from the same social bubble.
“They stood at their table, did the shotski together, and we removed it afterwards,” said Glenn Herold, president of the Schwaben Club. “It’s not like people from other tables were using it together.”
He adds that they brought the shotski out Friday night when it was requested, but have decided to not provide it anymore on public health’s recommendation.
“Restaurants that are connected with the festival this year were all given notice that isn’t something that’s on the table,” said Lowrick.
The region’s medical officer of health says people should be seated in restaurants except when they are coming, going, ordering, paying, or going to the washroom, and that they are working with KW Oktoberfest to reinforce these guidelines at the venues.