Restaurants will not be required to close if employee has COVID-19 in Washington County


WASHINGTON COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — According to the Washington County Health Department, restaurants in the county will not be shut down by the health department if one of their staff members is infected with COVID-19.

Any restaurant or foodservice establishment with an employee that is sick must perform thorough cleaning and disinfection, especially in those areas where the sick employee may have been working, according to officials. The department states that this might require a period of closure for the restaurant or foodservice establishment and would be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. 

Officials say restaurants are also not required to tell the public if a staff member has tested positive for the virus, this is because COVID-19 has not been proven to be a foodborne illness.

“We would not close a food service establishment because of COVID-19,” said Washington County Health Department Deputy Health Officer Medical Director Diana Gaviria.

Foodservice establishments are advised to follow the FDA guidelines for restaurants if a staff member does become infected, which includes thoroughly disinfecting the restaurant and sick employees remaining home.

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