COVID-19 Cases Spike; Prompting Some Local Restaurants To Close

COVID-19 Cases Spike; Prompting Some Local Restaurants To Close

COVID-19 Cases Spike; Prompting Some Local Restaurants To Close Featured

By / Local News / Wednesday, 24 June 2020 23:19

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

NEW HANOVER CTY - On June 4th, New Hanover County officials announced a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases. That increase was 28 new cases over two days bringing the total to 243. At 4:PM on June 23rd, the number of cases was 655. An increase of 412 cases. Of those cases, 138 had recovered and five passed away. At press time on Tuesday June 23rd, the State of North Carolina reported that Carolina Beach had 14 cases and Kure Beach had 1 case of COVID-19. If you would like to track case statistics, visit the State's website at https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/dashboard

For North Carolina, on June 23rd, there were 1,296 deaths reported overall with 36,921 recovered. There were just over 54,453 lab confirmed cases from 773,828 completed tests with 915 people currently hospitalized.

On June 18th, The Dive Restaurant in Carolina Beach announced on their Facebook Page they would temporarily close due to an employee testing positive for COVID-19. The manage of the restaurant explained, "We have been faced with a difficult decision today and will be temporarily closing. We have been informed by an employee that they have symptoms of Covid, that employee has also been in contact with someone who tested positive. While we don’t necessarily have to close down right now, we want to be proactive in this matter and handle the situation in a way that is best for everyone’s health. In the meantime, each employee is being tested and we will be having the entire building professionally sanitized and disinfected. Thank you everyone for understanding, we will update as things progress."

While larger chain or franchise restaurants have more of a financial cushion and in some cases a higher level of demand, particularly those with drive through windows, many singular  local restaurant's business models find themselves at a drastic disadvantage during COVID-19.

While local restaurants find innovative ways to serve customers, such as Kate's Pancake House on South Lake Park Blvd converting their parking lot into outdoor seating with parking available nearby, others find themselves in a dire situation. While the option to order take-out is always available at the majority of area restaurants, many people are still apprehensive about the idea of venturing out into public as people flock to coastal New Hanover County from many other states.

Myrtle Beach recently reported a spike in COVID cases due to people visiting the area from other states. The same situation has been repeated by many other states. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Tuesday June 23rd he was considering quarantining people entering the State or New York City for a time in order to prevent a forecasted spike in COVID cases.

The Town of Southport, NC, across the Cape Fear River south of Carolina Beach in Brunswick County, recently announced they would require everyone within Town limits to wear a face mask in public.

On June 18th, Buzz's Roost and the PIT Restaurants on the Boardwalk in Carolina Beach announced they were closing temporarily, but on June 22nd, both establishments reopened.

Jerry Hebert, owner of both establishments, explained, "Today the Buzz's Roost dining room will open back up for business at noon after a brief hiatus related to Covid. As I am sure there are questions let me answer a few for you in advance..... Is the building safe? Yes, counting this morning's top to bottom disinfecting, that totals 5 times the building has had every inch sprayed with professional disinfectant since last Thursday. We will continue to do a complete disinfection each and every day before we open for business."

He explained, "Have the employees been tested? Yes, all of our employees who had contact with our employee who tested positive and last worked June 12th, have been tested or will be within the next day or two. Only those with negative tests, new hires who had no contact with our positive tested employee, and people who have satisfied the quarantine period that the CDC  recommends will be allowed to work. Will the employees wear masks and gloves? Yes As you can guess, this has been a difficult few days getting back into position to reopen.....we have far exceeded CDC recommendations on most fronts because safety is priority number 1 and are happy to be back and ready to serve you all again."

Nauti Dog Carolina Beach located on the Boardwalk is one of the newest additions to the local restaurant community. Nauti Dog is a specialty hot dog restaurant with a full bar located on the Boardwalk.

On June 19th, they announced, "We pride ourselves on fresh, delicious hot dogs made to order for each customer. Attention CB Locals and Visitors: In an abundance of caution, we have decided to limit our “dine in” service to our outdoor seating only. The outdoor beach bar will still be open and additional tables will be set up on the perimeter of our building to accommodate our loyal patrons while keeping us all safe."

Many other area restaurants have closed temporarily throughout New Hanover County. One well known local favorite in Wilmington, South College Sandwich & Deli, recently announced, "Even though restrictions have been lifted or loosened for quarantine, South College Deli will remain closed. We are unable to recover from covid 19. We would not be able to operate to our normal capacity and it would just not be South College Deli. We want to thank our very valued customers for 21 wonderful years We miss you all!"

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