HONOLULU (KHON2) — COVID-19 concerns are high for some restaurants on Oahu’s North Shore after a worker at a business tested positive in the tight-knit community.
A handful of restaurants are being proactive by temporarily closing down to screen their employees first.
There is deep cleaning happening at Maya’s Tapas and Wine. General manager Juliet Wilson said they decided to close for at least three days to make sure employees are COVID-negative, no matter the financial loss to the business.
“Getting all of our staff, both back and front of house tested was not only for our family safety in the restaurant but also for their family safety,” Wilson said. “We want our neighborhood to feel as comfortable as we do at work.”
Wilson said she bought at-home COVID-19 tests for her entire staff. No one has tested positive but the virus remains a real concern.
A handful of restaurants in Haleiwa are temporarily closed. A sign on the door of a neighboring business read it closed over the rise in cases and to review new State regulations.
Wilson is well aware that they are losing revenue by doing keeping the doors closed.
“It’s definitely a loss, but we find in the long-term scope of things, we plan on being here serving our community for a long time,” Wilson said. “These small setbacks will ultimately help grow everyone’s trust in us, because we lean on each other in this small little town.”
Just a few steps down Kamehameha Highway, Stonefish Grill is going on its eleventh day of being closed. The establishment is transparent about the situation to customers who call the restaurant.
An answering machine message said one employee tested positive for the virus and the restaurant closed out of safety protocol, testing of employees and cleaning.
The owner of the restaurant told KHON2 that the employee worked back-of-house and employees who had close contact with the employee tested negative. They plan to re-test workers before the restaurant reopens sometime during the week of Monday, Aug. 16.
As for Maya’s Tapas and Wine, they will reopen on Friday, Aug. 13, and are doing everything they can to keep anyone who walks through their doors are safe as possible. This means having customers buy-in to the latest restrictions set by the governor.
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Wilson said, “The difference that it makes to have participation of everybody, both in our family and your family, is huge in getting us back to the place where we can rejoin again like we did in old times.”