According to Walworth County Health Officials, at least four restaurants have closed in recent weeks due to employees testing positive for COVID-19.
Pier 290 announced on their Facebook page on Thursday, they were closing their doors after three employees tested positive for the virus. The post stated, “The employees had all been together outside of work at an off-site social gathering.” The Facebook post did not clarify if the employees contracted the virus at the gathering.
Friday afternoon, restaurant management said they performed a deep clean and were conducting a safety meeting with employees.
Over at Chuck’s Lakeshore Inn in Fontana, they too announced two of their employees tested positive and at Popeye’s in Lake Geneva, same situation.
“Anytime anyone in our community chooses to go out in our community whether, to a restaurant or grocery store, there is risk of exposure,” said Carlo Nevicosi, Deputy Director with Walworth County Department of Health & Human Services.
Health officials said there are currently 50 active cases of COVID-19 in the county and right now health experts are working with the restaurant on a plan to reopen safely by using guidelines from the CDC.
“We are emphasizing personal and business responsibility though Walworth County is open, the virus is still here,” said Nevicosi.
Businesses are not required to shut down after an employee test positive for the virus, but officials said they chose to voluntarily. Health experts say they are contact tracing to see who has come within six feet of the worker for a period of 15 minutes.
“We are finding in our contact investigations that most customers are not being identified as close contact of the staff that people have confirmed positive so that’s one positive aspect,” said Nevicosi.
Officials did not attribute any of the recent cases to the large crowds in Lake Geneva on Memorial Day weekend. Health experts said as the weather warms up and people continue to go out to call businesses ahead to see what precautions they are taking to ensure customer safety.
“If they are not able to keep you 6 feet away from the next table, it might be an opportunity to try a different restaurant,” said Nevicosi.
Nevicosi said the most important thing for people to remember is to continue to social distance.