As Silver Dollar City gears up to launch its newest multimillion-dollar ride, the Branson theme park continues to struggle under the weight of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A Stone County Health Department news release indicated six of the theme park's employees recently tested positive for the virus. Health officials are investigating the incident as a possible outbreak in cooperation with Silver Dollar City.
As required, all of the employees were wearing masks. Public exposure related to the cases may have occurred at the park on June 17, 20 and 24-26, according to the release. The park also is requiring visitors to wear masks and comply with occupancy restrictions.
A separate release from Silver Dollar City states additional employees were in contact with those who tested positive for COVID-19. All affected employees have been quarantined from work.
Silver Dollar City opened June 13-14 for season pass holders and June 15 for the general public after multiple delays brought on by the pandemic. On June 15, an individual who was symptomatic went to the theme park, according to past reporting.
The health issues amid the coronavirus pandemic come as Silver Dollar City is preparing to open its newest ride: the $23 million Mystic River Falls. The replacement to Lost River of the Ozarks was announced in August 2019.
Theme park officials haven't yet announced a launch date, though its Facebook page has advertised the ride multiple times in recent days. Silver Dollar City spokesperson Lisa Rau said testing and ride programming adjustments are being conducted this week.
Mystic River Falls is the anchor of the $27 million Rivertown district, which also includes the $4 million Rivertown Smokehouse, according to past reporting.
Hybrid coffeehouse and plant shop Urban Grounds launched in Ozark; the Missouri Job Center relocated; and Closet Chic LLC opened a brick-and-mortar shop.