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Four restaurants in Fort Worth area close after workers test positive for COVID-19

Fort Worth Star-Telegram logoFort Worth Star-Telegram 6/23/2020 By Bud Kennedy, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Four restaurants are taking time out for cleaning this week as the coronavirus pandemic continues to take a toll on young people and restaurant workers.

Zoli’s Pizza in Fort Worth, the Lunch Box in Fort Worth, the Back Forty Smokehouse in North Richland Hills and Big Daddy’s Ship Store in Grapevine all announced closings after workers came down with COVID-19.

The restaurants are four of few to publicly announce their COVID-19 cases even though it’s not required here by federal, state, county or city health officials.

The announcements were posted on Facebook.

The Lunch Box and adjacent Black Rooster Bakery planned to reopen at midweek after sanitizing. An overnight worker tested positive, owner Immy Khan said.

The Back Forty and Zoli’s were expected to reopen by this weekend after cleaning and staff testing. Big Daddy’s announcement Monday predicted a slower reopening after testing and retesting.

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“We are hopeful that our strong cleaning, required masks, and no-contact procedures that we implemented at the beginning of the pandemic have contained the spread,” Zoli’s posted Sunday.

“This is obviously a terrible situation. ... The news regarding COVID-19 over the past couple of weeks has been difficult to comprehend, but we remain committed to being completely transparent and will update everyone on any further developments in the coming days. As always, the safety of our community is our top priority, and we will be back soon. In the meantime, #maskitup.”

According to county health reports, the virus is spreading most rapidly among the 25-44 age group.

Early this week, Tarrant County had more than 9,000 cases.

La Rueda Restaurant and the El Paseo location in Sansom Park also publicly announced brief closings for sanitizing earlier. Both have reopened.

On June 17, the Texas Restaurant Association posted on Facebook: “ ... Restaurants will continue to go above and beyond to protect customers and employees, but still we know they will encounter cases of COVID-19 just like every business that serves the public.

“Please know that when a restaurant temporarily closes due to a case of COVID-19, it’s because they’re taking every precaution to protect our communities. It’s a sign of care, not failure, and portraying them in a negative light for acting responsibly only encourages other businesses to cut corners with our health and safety.”

Gov. Greg Abbott has asked restaurant customers to stay 6 feet away from other people, wash their hands often and consider wearing a mask when anyone else is within 6 feet. Those over age 65 to stay home as much as possible.

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©2020 the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

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