Seminole restaurant closes after six customers test positive for coronavirus.
The owner of Kiwi’s Pub & Grill in Altamonte Springs said staff members have begun to experience coronavirus symptoms and one has initially tested positive.
Owner Rick Culmer’s Saturday night Facebook update on his staff came the day after he announced Kiwi’s was immediately but temporarily closing after six people informed him they had tested positive for the virus and had been inside the restaurant during the prior week.
Culmer wrote that the Seminole County Health Department told him the restaurant had not been officially “tagged” by any infected people. But, he added, “They did inform me however that they have been getting hammered with new infections all around Altamonte Springs and the county.”
Since being informed about the first infected customer, “we have now had some staff exhibit symptoms. Nobody on our staff has worked with any symptoms. This does not guarantee [there was] no infection apparently.”
And, he added, “one of our staff has now tested positive with the Rapid Test. We are waiting for confirmations” from the more reliable test that takes three days for results.
Culmer said he’s been also tested and will receive results in a few days.
“I do not have any symptoms and I feel great,” he wrote. “However I am taking no chances.”
In his initial post Friday, Culmer said closing the restaurant at 801 W. State Road 436 “may seem like an extravagant step, however we are taking no chances with the health of our staff and our customers. … We feel that your time at Kiwi’s is supposed to be a fun and relaxing experience and currently I don’t feel that we can guarantee that.
“We will be constantly monitoring the situation and will reopen the restaurant as soon as we feel confident that we can provide a safe and healthy environment.”
Restaurants in Florida were first allowed to reopen at 25% capacity and socially distanced outdoor seating on May 4 as part of Gov. DeSantis’s Phase 1 of reopening after the April stay-at-home order. The indoor capacity was expanded to 50% on May 18, but was not expanded any further when DeSantis moved to Phase 2 on
In a seven-day period from June 3 through June 9, Seminole had 74 new cases of the coronavirus, a nearly 140% increase from the previous seven-day period when the county listed 31 new cases, according to data from the Florida Department of Health and Seminole County.
“From my observations, it appears that warm weather does not inhibit the spread of the disease,” Culmer wrote in his post Saturday. “I urge everybody to wear a mask when out in public and to practice extreme social distancing.”