PORTSMOUTH, NH — A local pizzeria is closing after an employee tests positive for COVID-19.
Flatbread Company of Portsmouth made the decision to close Thursday after one of their employees contracted coronavirus. According to the company, the employee had limited interaction with dining room guests and last worked Oct. 4. The employee did not display symptoms until later in the week, according to Jason Lyon, the president and COO of the company.
"We want to assure the Portsmouth community that we have been taking this pandemic with the utmost seriousness," Katie Biggs, the general manager, said. "All team members complete a daily wellness check prior to entering the building before their shift which includes the recording of their temperature as well as verification by the manger on duty; if a team member is experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 or even has the mildest of elevated temperatures they are sent home without entering the restaurant."
Even though the eatery performs wellness checks before employees enter the building and all employees where masks, after finding out about the case Thursday, the restaurant closed. Restaurant managers are assisting employees to get tested and all employees are self-quarantining.
"While we are confident that through our daily diligence in our practices that any potential spread has been mitigated, as the science tells us we can’t be positive so are making sure we are as transparent as possible with our community," Jay Gould, the owner of the restaurant, said. "Despite best efforts every business has the potential for this to occur. We are grateful for a very loyal fan base who we want to make sure we are thoroughly honest with by being open about what is transpiring."
The restaurant alerted state health officials to the situation and are cooperating fully with contact tracing. The restaurant will go through COVID-19 sanitation and sterilization protocols, as an added precaution.
Lyon told Patch Friday they were hoping that if tests come back quickly, and employees are cleared, they can at least reopen for takeout Monday — and will only fully reopen after they are assured that all team members are healthy.
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