Multiple Carbondale restaurants closed due to employees testing positive for COVID-19

Updated: Jul. 22, 2020 at 6:02 PM CDT
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Illinois (KFVS) - COVID-19 positive employees caused the shutdown of two of Carbondale’s most popular local restaurants.

Iconic Carbondale restaurant, Quatros, closed its doors for a few weeks due to the same virus haunting businesses across the nation. Owner Steve Payne said the restaurant ceased operation Sunday, July 19.

Last Wednesday, one of his employees went into self-isolation after being tested, now since the business is shut down, so is its revenue.

“It’s a painful item to say the least,” Payne said as he took to social media to alert the public. “We did get beat up a little bit by some folks on here, a small number fortunately. The majority - the vast majority of people have been very supportive of that.”

The Jackson County Health Department encourages businesses to utilize social media for closings. Administrator Bart Hagston said social media can be “very helpful, especially when done well,” he said. “Most people will respond in a positive manner and praise businesses for being transparent, acting responsibly, and helping to prevent the spread of disease.”

Just days later, another business shut its doors - the restaurant Tres Hombres.

The General Manager Taylor Vaughn said they were not forced by the public health department to close, but they made the hard decision. “Unfortunately, for us, we are so severely under-staffed that we would just not be able to make it,” Vaughn said.

They had a COVID-positive employee as well. “Half of our staff did not feel comfortable coming back once things did reopen, and so that hit us pretty hard,” Vaughn said.

Both business owners said they did everything they could to avoid this happening.

“To be able to open back up and to do the remediation that we constantly did - cleaning - every booth, every seat, every table, every time someone would leave, the handling that we did, the separation, checking temperatures of staff coming in the door,” Payne said. “We did most of the items that we recommended to minimize the possibility of having a problem, but in spite of that we still did.”

Vaughn said she just hopes people take their own personal precautions. “You can’t control everyone, but if everyone will do their part that would be helpful and I think that would really help the community and make it go away faster.”

Another restaurant in Carbondale closed its doors for indoor dining, as a proactive precaution. Tam Rachatanavin is the owner of Thai Taste. He said he loves seeing his customers, but not at the expense of them being infected.

“We don’t have any cases, we don’t want to have any cases. You can put on the mask, and do all the cleaning and sanitizing and social distancing all you want, but when you have a lot of people coming in and out of the place, and we don’t want to put our customers at risk unnecessarily,” he said.

According to Facebook, Tres Hombres hopes to be back open in 14 days, and Quatro’s will open back up 10-30 days depending on the results of the employees testing.

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