COVID-19 has disrupted the reopening of another downtown Bowling Green restaurant.
Mariah’s, located at 360 Eighth Ave. in Stadium Park Plaza, announced Wednesday afternoon that it is closing temporarily after it was discovered an employee had tested positive for the COVID-19 respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus.
The announcement comes in the same week Hilligan’s Sports Bar & Grill and the 440 Main restaurant reopened after they were shut down for a few days after discovering cases of the virus among employees.
A post on Mariah’s Facebook page said the eatery elected to close because “we want to ensure that all of our employees and guests are safe and protected.”
Mariah’s General Manager John Horton said the positive test result was discovered Wednesday, leading the restaurant to immediately close to the public. Following state mandates, the restaurant had reopened May 22 at 33 percent of its seating capacity. Along with restaurants throughout the state, it closed its dining area in March but had continued to operate through takeout and delivery.
“This (closing) is not something required by (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) or (Food and Drug Administration) guidelines,” Horton said. “It’s something we decided to do to protect our employees and customers.”
The Facebook post said: “During this time we will conduct extra cleaning and sanitation to ensure the restaurant is safe for everyone. We are requiring all staff to get tested. We will not reopen until we are certain that we have enough staff that is negative and it is safe for everyone. No member of the staff will be allowed to return to work until they have provided a negative test result.”
Similar procedures were followed by 440 Main and Hilligan’s.
Located on the downtown square, 440 Main had only one employee test positive for COVID-19 but closed from June 18 through Monday before reopening Tuesday.
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.
Hilligan’s, which is located 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 restaurant announced its reopening Monday in a Twitter post.
Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services Executive Director of Public Affairs Susan Dunlap said in an email that Hilligan’s was having all employees tested for the coronavirus and having the facility deep-cleaned.