Two downtown Bowling Green restaurants that closed last week after some employees tested positive for the COVID-19 respiratory disease have reopened.
Hilligan’s Sports Bar & Grill at 1265 College St. closed June 17 after the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services announced the eatery near Western Kentucky University’s campus had five of its employees test positive for COVID-19.
The closure was announced by a sign on the front entrance to Hilligan’s that read: “We are taking a break ... See you soon.”
Hilligan’s management announced the reopening on Twitter, posting Monday that: “We’re open and back to regular hours ... .”
Before reopening, Hilligan’s had to test all its employees, according to an email from the CHFS.
“We have received confirmation from the local health department that the establishment (Hilligan’s) has approximately 40 employees, five of whom have tested positive for COVID-19,” CHFS Executive Director of Public Affairs Susan Dunlap said in an email. “The owner is having all employees tested for the coronavirus and having the facility deep-cleaned.”
Meanwhile, the 440 Main Restaurant on the downtown square had only one employee test positive for COVID-19 but closed from last Thursday through Monday before reopening Tuesday.
Both the closing and the reopening were announced on the restaurant’s Facebook page.
A post from Thursday said: “440 Main and Micki’s will be temporarily closed. We are sorry for the inconvenience. We will be closed in order to follow the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and FDA (Food and Drug Administration) guidelines. We have had one positive test. Due to the potential exposure, we will be disinfecting and having our entire staff tested. Thank you for understanding.”
On Tuesday, 440 Main General Manager Amanda Witek announced in a Facebook post: “We had one single isolated case of COVID-19. The last time the employee was in the building was Saturday, June 13.”
Witek said the employee who tested positive must quarantine for 14 days and then test negative before returning to work.
“Our entire staff has been tested, and all tests have come back negative,” Witek said.
Witek said 440 Main has instituted extra precautions as part of the reopening. All employees are screened with infrared thermometers as they come in the door, and they are all wearing masks while at work. The restaurant has added sanitizing stations, Witek said.
As part of Gov. Andy Beshear’s “Healthy at Work” plan to reopen the state’s economy after being largely shut down in March because of the coronavirus pandemic, restaurants were allowed to reopen at 33 percent of capacity May 22.