PHOENIX — A downtown Phoenix music venue has been shut down by the state for refusing to comply with social distancing and mask requirements.

The Pressroom hosted a packed hip-hop concert with rapper Polo G on Saturday, with videos posted to social media showing crowds and few face coverings. On Wednesday, the Arizona Department of Health Services ordered the venue to close its doors for “jeopardizing the health, safety, and welfare of the public.”

The Pressroom’s liquor license has also been indefinitely suspended.

AZDHS officials said that the venue failed to submit an attestation to the state detailing its staff and attendees would comply with coronavirus mitigation efforts, which is required for large gatherings of over 50 people; over 100 attended the Polo G concert. Masks and social distancing are required for bars and restaurants to be open amid the pandemic.

Steve Elliott, an ADHS spokesperson, told the Phoenix New Times that social media videos of the concert triggered the closure order.

The owner of The Pressroom, local businessman Narender Raju, also operates Aura Nightclub in Tempe.

AZDHS guidelines dictate that the venue won’t be allowed to reopen until department officials give permission. It must also agree to follow mandatory coronavirus protocols and any reopening will be done in phases with strict regulation.

The Pressroom is the latest establishment to be shut down for noncompliance, including several in Old Town Scottsdale.


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