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Mecktoberfest attendees return to Olde Mecklenburg Brewery for COVID-19 tests

"If you went there and didn't wear a mask and didn't social distance, you should be tested," Mecklenburg County Health Director Gibbie Harris said.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — People who attended The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery's Mecktoberfest in late September were offered free COVID-19 tests Saturday after at least two cases of the virus were linked to the event. 

RELATED: Did you attend Mecktoberfest? Health officials say you may want to get tested for COVID-19.

The incident has led to some controversy over whether events such as these should be allowed in the first place.

Olde Mecklenburg Brewery's annual Mecktoberfest event draws huge crowds, including this year — the weekend of September 25.

Mecklenburg County Health Director Gibbie Harris said thousands of people attended this event. This week Mecklenburg County Health Director said they’ve traced at least two positive COVID-19 cases to that event.

"If you went there and didn't wear a mask and didn't social distance, you should be tested," Harris said.

RELATED: Beyond Mecktoberfest, these other events could spread coronavirus

On Saturday, OMB partnered with the county to offer free drive-up testing. A steady stream of cars drove by all morning, keeping them busy.

Health officials are not officially calling Mecktoberfest a cluster, nor are they titling it a superspreader event, but health officials did say they expect more confirmed cases to be traced to it.

"In the case of Mecktoberfest, we would have not necessarily had to do a public notification, we could have just notified everyone that was in attendance,” Deputy Director Washington said.

OMB released a statement that says in part:

“OMB has always and will continue to work diligently to ensure that we comply with and adhere to all county, state and national health regulations and recommendations.

It is also perhaps the easiest place in town to enjoy a beer or a meal with friends while social distancing."

RELATED: Mecklenburg County health leaders concerned about safety guidelines & mask compliance at bars

RELATED: NC COVID-19 numbers show alarming spike in cases since mid-July

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