Phoenix Restaurants Closing Again Due To COVID Exposure

Almost a month since Arizona’s stay-at-home order was lifted, more than a handful of restaurants, at least one brewpub, and a comic shop in the Phoenix area have reported potential COVID-19 exposures.

As a result, some businesses have temporarily closed, again, sometimes for a few days, one for two weeks, and others until they feel it is safe to reopen again. Others have undergone deep cleanings, according to posts on their Facebook pages.

In the last seven days alone, Chelsea’s Kitchen in Phoenix, The Porch in Phoenix, Hash Kitchen in Phoenix, SanTan Brewing in downtown Chandler and Phoenix, Spirit House in downtown Chandler, Floridino’s Pizza & Pasta in Chandler, The Shop Beer Co. in Tempe, and PHX Beer Co. in Scottsdale have all announced temporary closures, citing individuals or employees who have reportedly tested positive for the virus.

Prior to those, Venezia’s Pizzeria in Gilbert, Oregano’s in Queen Creek, Helton Brewing in Phoenix, Alo Cafe in Scottsdale, La Rista New Mexican Kitchen in Gilbert, and Drawn To Comics in Glendale have also publicly posted about potential positive cases.

Some restaurants have closed and since reopened. Others did not indicate whether they had closed or not, aside from alerting their followers to the potential exposure. Others remain closed.

Recently, the state has seen an increase in positive COVID-19 cases. As of Monday, June 15, the Arizona Department of Health Services has reported the state’s total number of Coronavirus cases is 36,705 positive cases and 1,194 confirmed deaths.

More than 344,929 tests have been conducted, according to AZDHS’ online data dashboard.

“TO OUR GUESTS: Chelsea’s Kitchen has recently learned that a person close to the restaurant has tested positive for COVID-19. Out of an abundance of caution, we have closed the restaurant for dine in service. We are currently offering curbside takeout and delivery while the dining room is closed,” said a Saturday post on the restaurant’s Facebook page.

In another Facebook post, The Porch said last week that “ownership and management learned that an individual who was in The Porch has tested positive for COVID 19. We understand that this news may cause you concern.”

“Given the recent exposure concerns, we have decided to temporarily close in order to allow all of our team members to get tested. We will reopen when we have all test results from our team, and have ensured that it is safe for our staff and customers to return,” read the post.

In the meantime, the restaurant said it would clean and sanitize the entire building and complete some planned construction projects.

Hash Kitchen said last week that it was informed that an “individual with close contact to the restaurant” had tested positive for coronavirus. As a result, the restaurant decided to close that location.

“Due to the responsibility we feel for the community, Hash Kitchen Arcadia has made the proactive decision to temporarily close and has contracted a disinfection service to completely disinfect the restaurant, on top of its already strict sanitization procedures,” said a Facebook post. “Hash Kitchen will remain closed until all employees test for COVID-19 and we feel that it is safe to reopen our doors.”

SanTan Brewing temporarily closed its brewpubs in Chandler and Phoenix, as well as its Spirit House cocktail bar, after two of its employees tested positive for COVID-19, the brewery said in a social media post.

“While we’re closed, all areas of our restaurants will be thoroughly sanitized. Our doors will re-open once we have ensured that it is safe to serve you again. We anticipate to open again on Sunday morning.” SanTan reopened for brunch on Sunday, June 14, according to an update on Facebook.

Floridino’s in Chandler said in a Thursday Facebook post that one of its employees had tested positive for COVID-19, adding that the employee had not worked at the restaurant since the Friday before and “had no direct contact with customers and is now quarantining at home.”

“In an abundance of caution, we will not be reopening at this time,” the post said.

The Shop Beer Co. in Tempe said one of its employees had tested positive for COVID-19, but did not know if the exposure happened at the business or elsewhere. No other employees were showing symptoms of COVID-19, the business said on Facebook.

“However, as a precautionary measure for the safety of our team, we are going to close our tasting room to allow our team members to get tested and quarantine,” the business said.

In a Facebook post on Saturday, PHX Beer Co. said it would close its Scottsdale restaurant for a few days after someone who visited there the weekend before reportedly tested positive for COVID-19.

“PHX Beer Co. is committed to protecting our staff and guests. It is for this reason that we are closing, this location only, today and tomorrow to do a thorough deep clean and sanitization. Every PHX Beer Co. restaurant employee is also being tested for COVID-19 and we will continue our rigorous daily sanitization when we reopen on Tuesday, June 16,” a post on Facebook said.

During a press conference on Thursday, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey encouraged people to wear masks in public, especially when unable to safely distance from other people.

He said the state’s positive COVID-19 cases were trending in the wrong direction, but repeatedly said that the state has enough hospital capacity and equipment should more people get sick. He did not announce any new policy changes.

“I think it’s important that people have the facts. This virus is not going away. There is not a cure for this virus and there is not a vaccine for this virus,” Ducey said during the Thursday press conference. “So this virus is something we need to learn to live with. And we need to make sure that we are protecting the most vulnerable in our society, and those are folks at a certain age bracket with underlying health conditions and at-risk conditions, and we’re going to continue to do that every single day until there is a vaccine.”

Click here for more information from the CDC.


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