FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Fayetteville Police Department responded to a call about a large gathering and issued warnings in regards to social distancing after a group engaged in a crawfish boil at The Cottages apartment complex.

Officials say a group of about 20 people was gathered at a crawfish boil at The Cottages, a student housing complex off of Hollywood Avenue in Fayetteville. When officers arrived the group was issued a warning and later began to disperse without issue.

The call came from a representative of The Cottages who noticed the group violating apartment policy and Governor Asa Hutchinson’s order prohibiting gatherings of more than 10 people.

A spokesperson for The Cottages released this statement:

The safety of our residents, staff and guests is a top priority. We’ve been closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic for weeks and quickly implemented CDC recommended preventative measures in our community.

To help slow the spread of COVID-19, we have temporarily closed our amenity and greenspace areas to reduce large gatherings, and we have shared CDC recommendations with all of our leaseholders, strongly urging them to implement personal preventative measures to protect themselves and those around them.

With private entrances, private bedrooms and non-communal bathrooms, The Cottages on Hollywood provides safe housing for residents to shelter-in-place and practice social distancing. Based on the information we have received from the CDC, we strongly believe these are the most effective ways to help slow the spread in our community and beyond.

As a housing provider, we are doing all that we can to ensure our community is safe and informed, but we also recognize that — much like the majority of places across the country — individuals must follow common-sense measures of their own to further protect themselves and minimize the spread of COVID-19.

Regardless of where you are, we encourage everyone to please follow proactive health and hygiene guidelines provided by the CDC to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

The University of Arkansas also weighed in on the incident saying:

While this was neither university-organized nor on campus, it is disappointing. We support the safety, health and well-being of those around us. We take these values seriously and are working with city authorities and others to look into this situation and hold students accountable to our student code of conduct. 

In the meantime, we will continue to actively promote social distancing and all prescribed safety measures throughout the community and urge all members of our community, students, faculty and staff, to support these measures.