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Restaurants in Federal Hill temporarily close after employees test positive for COVID-19

Posted at 5:36 PM, Jul 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-17 07:13:51-04

BALTIMORE — Baltimore's Federal Hill neighborhood is the lastest community to experience positive COVID-19 cases among restaurant workers. At least three venues have reported an employee testing positive this week.

Those restaurants include The Rowhouse Grille, LP Steamers and City Limits Sports Bar. Each restaurant took to Facebook to alert the public.

The Rowhouse Grill stated in part, "Given recent surges in positive testing results in our industry, we have encouraged our staff to stay home and seek testing at first sign of symptoms. Unfortunately, one of our own has tested positive as of this morning. Out of respect and well being of our community, we will be closing for the next few days while we kick off internal sanitation measures and continue with getting the rest of our staff tested."

With the consent of the employee, City Limits Sports Bar identified the individual who tested positive. The message Thursday read in part, "Hello and good morning to all, since yesterday we have had the entire staff tested, and all else have come back negative. With the consent of Lacy she has allowed us to share that she was the staff member that tested positive. The last she had worked a shift or come in contact with any other employee was Thursday night 4pm till 9pm. We/Lacy felt it necessary to share this to the community and public for everyone’s well being! We are not taking this lightly and will continue to practice under CDC guidelines."

LP Steamers wrote, "Late yesterday a member of our team received a positive COVID-19 "rapid" test result. They have not received their official test results yet but we expect it to be the same. In response, we have temporarily closed."

Restaurant workers appear to be the latest group of people testing positive after. Last week WMAR-2 News reported on restaurant employees testing positive for COVID-19.

The positive test results come as Federal Hill launches it's parklet program, an extension of outdoor seating. The aim is help businesses bring in additional revenue while serving patrons in an outdoor space.

"Being able to do this for the past week, it is really made a tremendous difference in our business and increased sales," said Anna Leventis, owner of SOBO Cafe.

Leventis said hopes the parklets remain year round.

"This is a city wide initiative called design for distancing," said Cathy Rosenbaum, executive director with Federal Hill Main Street. "The permits that they’re issuing related to this project are in effect through June 20 21 the only thing that would be. The only thing that would make them resolved sooner would be if all of the restrictions for COVID-19 are relaxed and we’re put back to normal."