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Multiple Norfolk restaurants temporarily close over possible COVID-19 exposure

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Posted at 3:30 PM, Jul 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-21 12:13:09-04

NORFOLK, Va. — Several Norfolk restaurants are warning customers and employees about possible exposure to coronavirus.

They’ve shut down, once again, and there’s no telling when they’ll get back to business.

“I don’t think people realize how serious this is,” says Bridget Varney, owner of Colley Cantina in Ghent.

Monday, Varney was seen sanitizing the outside space of her restaurant after finding out someone who tested positive for COVID-19 could have recently been at Colley Cantina.

“We’re definitely not going to reopen until we know for sure everyone is safe, no one has COVID and the restaurant has been sanitized complete,” says Varney.

In the past week, at least four Norfolk restaurants closed their doors over COVID-19 concerns.

A.W. Shucks closed Wednesday after they say an employee tested positive for coronavirus.

Less than a mile away, Colley Cantina and their neighbors, Peck and Pour, closed for the weekend.

The restaurants both posted on Facebook saying a Ghent restaurant employee, who they did not name, was asymptomatic and tested positive after visiting their businesses.

“He had already come to visit us a couple of times before he got the results, I guess,” says Sayoko Machesney, bar manager at Peck & Pour Norfolk, World Class Wings and Beer. “So then we were like, ‘Okay, so who works that day? We need to make sure you know everybody’s safe.’ Everybody needs to get tested, and we went ahead and closed so that everybody can get tested.”

Peck & Pour says exposure could have happened last week between Monday and Wednesday night.

Meanwhile, Elation Brewing Company announced Saturday they were going to close for two days because of possible COVID-19 exposure.

Monday, the restaurant updated its Facebook page to announce it will remain closed until they receive negative test results from staff. The restaurant is located on Colley Avenue, about a mile away from the other restaurants.

Peck & Pour said it doesn’t have a specific day for reopening. Instead, they’ll wait at least two weeks or until enough staff have received negative test results to reopen.

“We all have families. Our staff, they have children. We have older parents, all that, so it's not worth it,” says Machesney.

Related: Two OBX restaurants temporarily close after employee tests positive for COVID-19

The Virginia Department of Health says they investigate the risk of exposure and use contact tracing to notify customers and employees when an infected employee is reported to them.

“It's tragic, but it's the times that we're in right now and we just all have to be there for each other,” says Machesney.

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