SOUTHERN INDIANA — Two Southern Indiana restaurants have temporarily closed due to staff testing positive for COVID-19.
Joe Huber’s Family Farm & Restaurant in Starlight announced Thursday on Facebook that the business is temporarily closing after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19.
According to the Facebook post, the health department was immediately contacted, and the business will be cleaned and sanitized before reopening. According to an automated phone message, the business plans to reopen Friday, Aug. 14.
“Safety of our staff and customers is our number one priority and we look forward to serving our guests again in the near future,” the Facebook post reads.
Brooklyn & The Butcher, a steakhouse in downtown New Albany, closed temporarily this week due to an employee testing positive for COVID-19 on Sunday. According to owner Ian Hall, he hopes to reopen the restaurant Friday, Aug. 7.
The restaurant arranged for a professional cleaning crew to conduct a deep cleaning of the building. About 90% of the other restaurant employees have received their COVID-19 test results, which have all been negative so far, he said.
Hall said the employee who tested positive was asymptomatic and received test results Sunday. The staff member had worked Friday and Saturday.
Brooklyn & The Butcher’s safety protocols include sanitizing stations and daily/weekly deep cleanings, and staff members enter and leave wearing face masks, he said.
“We’re doing everything we can, and we’ll find out other ways we can take more steps moving forward,” Hall said.
Floyd County Health Officer Dr. Tom Harris said there have been a few recent cases of Floyd County restaurant employees testing positive as COVID-19 increases locally, but he has been pleased with local restaurants’ compliance with safety protocols and the mask mandate.
“The take-home is that we really haven’t reached a point with the increase in cases where we have to roll back restaurant seating or anything like that,” he said. “I think it’s still safe to go out and get a meal, but people should be diligent about wearing their masks, and that’s how we’re going to slow this down.”
According to Harris, Sam’s Food & Spirits in Floyds Knobs was notified Thursday of an employee testing positive. The restaurant has conducted a deep cleaning, but the situation did not necessitate a closure, he said.
“Everybody was wearing masks and following procedures,” he said. “The person who tested positive is going to be off work, but it did not fit the criteria to close the restaurant.”