Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Multiple Restaurants Temporarily Close as Workers Test Positive for COVID-19

UPDATE July 20, 2020: High Tide Bottle Shop & Kitchen reopened on July 19.

UPDATE July 9, 2020:  The Henry and McP’s Irish Pub are back open.

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Three Coronado restaurants have temporarily closed due to staff members testing positive for COVID-19. The Henry, High Tide Bottle Shop & Kitchen and McP’s Irish Pub will be closed to sanitize their establishments and ensure healthy staff members in order to re-open for business. In addition to these temporary COVID-19 related closures, all San Diego County restaurants have closed their indoor dining and will only allow outside seating and take-out for the next three weeks.

The Coronado Times contacted Anita Walker, Vice President of Marketing for Fox Restaurant Concepts (includes The Henry locations). She shared these comments:

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When did The Henry first learn that an employee had tested positive for COVID-19? The last time they worked onsite was Tuesday, June 30th and then called Thursday, July 2nd saying they were not feeling well. On Friday, July 3rd the staff member called again to say they were not feeling well and went to get tested Friday. The result came back positive and we closed Friday. By the end of that day, all of the employees at that location were notified – per the General Manager.

How was the facility cleaned and how long were you closed? We have an on-call third party sanitation resource. If we have a COVID exposure, we are able to do the required cleaning overnight. Even though we re-opened the next day, that isn’t always the case.  One of our restaurants, in Arizona, had to shut down due to COVID for many days in order to sanitize the location. In that case, we put a note on the door that explained we were closed due to COVID exposure. That was not the case for our Coronado location.

When did The Henry first notify the San Diego Department of Environmental Health (DEH)? The San Diego Department of Environmental Health does not have a formal requirement to notify them of COVID cases. After we saw the comments on social media regarding our lack of DEH notification, we contacted them to report the Coronado COVID case. Further, we will contact them going forward if any staff members or customers notify us of testing positive to COVID.

After answering the above questions, Walker learned about a second case at The Henry and sent this in addition to her earlier responses: The employee in this second case was last in the restaurant on Thursday, July 2. We are closing the restaurant early this evening (July 6) and will be proceeding with sanitation and employee contacts. This time, we do not expect to be able to complete all of these procedures before our regular opening tomorrow. The Henry will be closed until we can go through our protocols.

The Coronado Times confirmed that the San Diego Department of Environmental Health (DEH) instructs the operator to take measures to contact the DEH when any employee or customer has been diagnosed with COVID-19. More details are listed at the end of this article. Further, the state issued new guidance last month which outlines new business protocols with regard to a checklist for handling a COVID-19 outbreak in the workplace.

Last night, The Henry shared this post via Facebook group Coronado Happenings:

Coronado neighbors,
We apologize for not being more transparent with you about our first COVID positive case last week. Even though we messed up our communication, please know that we took all the right actions to make sure our guests, our employees and our restaurant space were as safe as possible before we re-opened. 

We went through our entire protocol for a COVID exposure the night after we became aware one of our employees was COVID positive. This includes third-party sanitation of the restaurant, contacting all employees before they returned to work to make sure we knew who had CDC defined exposure to the COVID employee and making sure all employees had access to testing at our cost, regardless of exposure. We got lucky that we were able to get this done so quickly. That has not always been the case. In another restaurant out-of-state, we had to close a restaurant for nearly a week as we waited for the sanitation company and sufficient staff to safely reopen. No one in our industry is happy about the fact we are all getting more experienced and better at responding to COVID exposures.

Some of you have asked us why we did not notify the San Diego Health Department about the COVID positive employee. We know the employee’s health care provider has notified the Health Department and that we, as employers, are not required to do so. But because of your question today and after calling the San Diego Health Department who encouraged voluntary notification, the Henry is committing to do so. With all of this in mind, this evening we notified the Health Department that we received information about a second COVID positive employee.

The employee in this second case was last in the restaurant on Thursday, July 2. We are closing the restaurant early this evening and will be proceeding with sanitation and employee contacts. This time, we do not expect to be able to complete all of these procedures before our regular opening tomorrow. The Henry will be closed until we can go through our protocols, all of which mirror the San Diego Health Department’s and CDC guidance.

These are challenging times. We are learning how to do this better each day. Thank you for making us better. We hope to regain your trust and serve you again soon.

The Henry Coronado Website

The Coronado Times contacted Tom Latona, Owner of High Tide Bottle Shop & Kitchen. He shared these comments:

When did your business first learn that an employee had tested positive for COVID-19? Yesterday (Monday) at 3:15pm.

Have all of your employees been tested?  If not, will they before you re-open? We would like for all our staff to be tested and are currently looking for a place to test the group. Some of our staff have been told by their doctors they won’t test them because they are not showing symptoms. The Health Department does not require it, but we are doing our best to get it done for our staff.

How many staff members have tested positive? One.

How is the facility being cleaned and how long will you be closed? We had an outside company that specializes in Covid-19 cleaning in there first thing this morning. We could be closed up to 2 weeks.   

When did your business first notify the San Diego Department of Environmental Health (DEH)? Yesterday we called at 3:30pm right after we got the positive test result to look for direction. They returned our call this morning. We are working with them and following their guidance.

This was shared on their Facebook page yesterday, July 6th:

We will be closing today at 4:30pm. Unfortunately one of our staff tested positive for COVID-19. We are following the health department protocol and will be closed for a minimum of 48 hours for deep cleaning and time for all our staff to be tested. We will keep you posted. Please follow the rules! It’s important! We care about you!

High Tide Website

The Coronado Times was unable to get additional comment from McP’s Irish Pub, but will add it to this developing story if received. This was shared on their Facebook page earlier today:

Good morning, For the health, safety and well being of our valued customers, staff and community, McP’s Irish Pub will be closed beginning today to conduct a deep sanitization cleaning. This is being done per San Diego Co. Health Dept guidelines as one of our team members has tested positive for Covid19.  PLEASE!PLEASE!PLEASE! be safe out there and follow what is recommended, let’s all be part of the solution!
See you all soon!!!
….McPs ☘️

McP’s Irish Pub Website 

According to the San Diego Department of Environmental Health (DEH), operators should take the following measures to contact them when any employee or customer has been diagnosed with COVID-19. Here is what they emailed The Coronado Times:

To support the protection of public health and slow the transmission of COVID-19, the Department of Environmental Health (DEH) is reminding operators to take the following measures when you have been notified that an employee or customer has been diagnosed with COVID-19:

  1. Notify DEH by calling: (858) 505-6814
  2. Self-close and conduct a deep disinfection of the facility. Guidance is available in multiple languages on the Food Publication webpage.
  3. Determine if any staff was in close contact, within six feet for more than 15 minutes of the individual with COVID-19. If yes, then staff should self-quarantine for 14 days.
  4. Review the facility’s San Diego Food Facility, Restaurant, Bar, Winery, Brewery Operating Protocol with your staff and ensure that all precautions are being followed, such as wearing face coverings and employee wellness screenings/temperature checks prior to each shift.

Your attention to this important public health information is greatly appreciated. If you have questions regarding this information or your food operation, please contact DEH’s Epidemiology Liaison specialist at (858) 505-6814 or email at

For updated information about COVID-19, including resource documents such as frequently asked questions, informational posters, and guidance, please visit


Dine-In Restaurants, Other Indoor Activities to Close

Tracking COVID-19: 63 Total Coronado Cases Since March – Plus San Diego Stats

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