UPDATE: New Braunfels businesses respond to positive COVID-19 cases among employees

Several businessses in New Braunfels have closed this week due to employees testing positive for the coronavirus. (Wendy Sturges/Community Impact Newspaper)
Several businessses in New Braunfels have closed this week due to employees testing positive for the coronavirus. (Wendy Sturges/Community Impact Newspaper)

Several businessses in New Braunfels have closed this week due to employees testing positive for the coronavirus. (Wendy Sturges/Community Impact Newspaper)

UPDATE: 8:15 p.m., June 10

The Foundry Salon issued a statement on social media on Wednesday evening that confirmed an employee tested positive for the coronavirus on June 9, and the employee most recently worked on Monday, June 8.

According to the post, Safety Shield Anti-microbial Disinfecting Solutions treated the salon before its initial opening, and the owners are following CDC recommendations and sanitizing all areas of the salon before opening June 11.

Foundry Salon employees will also be required to present a negative COVID-19 test before returning to work, and clients that may be at risk of infection have been notified, according to the salon.

ORIGINAL STORY


On Wednesday, June 10, Downtown Social announced it would close until 4 p.m. on June 11 after an employee tested positive for COVID-19.

The restaurant and event venue shared on social media that it will close to clean and sanitize the building and all employees would be tested for the coronavirus before returning to work. According to the restaurant, the employee that tested positive last worked on Saturday, June 6.

The announcement came after multiple restaurants and businesses in New Braunfels closed temporarily within the last week after staff members tested positive for the coronavirus, including Muck & Fuss, Mozie's, Gristmill River Restaurant & Bar, 2tarts, and McAdoo's Seafood Company. Granzin's Bar-B-Q also closed temporarily in May.

Though the Texas Department of State Health Services does not require restaurants to close or to release a public statement after receiving confirmation of a positive case of the virus, many have utilized social media platforms to inform customers of confirmed cases within their restaurant.

Black’s BBQ announced on Facebook that it would be closed on June 4 after a part-time worker tested positive for COVID-19.

According to Kent Black, the owner of Black’s BBQ, the restaurant closed to be cleaned and sanitized and all staff members were tested before reopening on June 5.

In accordance with Texas DSHS guidelines, Black’s also requires employees to wear masks and gloves while at work, conducts temperature screenings and removed utensils and condiments from the tables, Black said.

“The main thing we wanted to do was to notify the public because this is a community health issue,” Black said. “We know all we can control is what goes on in our building.”

Dine-in restaurants that have less than 51% of their gross receipts from the sale of alcohol have been able to operate at 50% capacity since May 22 and will be able to expand to 75% capacity on June 12 as Phase 3 of Gov. Greg Abbott’s Open Texas plan begins.

Many local businesses have also closed and implemented additional cleaning procedures in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

On June 9, Texas Ski Ranch closed temporarily after a staff member who last worked on June 7 at 5:45 p.m. notified the business that they had been in contact with others who tested positive for COVID-19, according to General Manager Max Bialick.

Bialick said employees who were in close contact with the staff member will be required to stay home for 14 days and are encouraged to get tested, though testing is not required.

“We talked to the health department about it and basically they said anybody that person has come into contact with for more than 10 minutes or within six feet of them should also be treated as if they already test positive,” Bialick said. “That’s why they’re not allowed on property for the next 14 days.”

All employees are required to receive a temperature screening when they come to work and those visiting TSR are encouraged to adhere to distance guidelines.

Childcare centers are also not required to publicly report confirmed cases of COVID-19, but DSHS requires facilities to undergo additional cleaning and to report any cases to their local health authority.

Happy Days Daycare Center was cleaned and sanitized after a family with children at the center reported a positive case of the coronavirus, according to Zac Smithers, Assistant Director of Triple L Ranch Childhood Development Center, which also operates Happy Days Daycare Center.

According to Smithers, all employees were tested for the virus and were confirmed negative and parents were notified of the case.

Since June 8, Comal County has confirmed 20 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the county total to 137.

The county has also begun reporting “probable cases,” which includes residents who tested positive using a quick-result antigen test, but not the more accurate PCR test. The county has reported 18 probable cases since June 9.
By Warren Brown
Warren joined Community Impact at the beginning of 2020 as the editor of its New Braunfels paper and now reports the news in San Marcos, Buda and Kyle. Warren previously wrote for the Dallas Observer and Fort Worth Weekly and he brings a passion for truth and equality to his reporting.
By Lauren Canterberry
Lauren began covering New Braunfels for Community Impact Newspaper in 2019. Her reporting focuses on education, development, breaking news and community interest stories. Lauren is originally from South Carolina and is a graduate of the University of Georgia.


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