By Ellen Fike and Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily
Employees at five Cheyenne restaurants have either tested positive for or are suspected of having the coronavirus, city officials announced late Tuesday.
The Cheyenne/Laramie County Health Department identified the five restaurants with employees who have tested positive for the virus or have been diagnosed with probable cases as Red Lobster, Buffalo Wild Wings, Accomplice Beer Company, Wyoming Rib and Chop House and the Tortilla Factory on South Greeley Highway.
Anyone who has visited any of those five restaurants in the last seven days and developed a cough, congestion, loss of smell or taste, headache or fever should contact their health care provider immediately, the department said.
In a Facebook post, Tortilla Factory said it will close its restaurant on South Greeley Highway until at least July 5 due to the employee’s diagnosis. Curbside pickup will still be allowed at that location.
“During this difficult time Tortilla Factory South appreciates the patience and understanding of our customers,” the post read.
Accomplice Manager Rory Sandoval also took to Facebook to address the situation, noting the restaurant would be closed until Thursday afternoon to allow county health officials to conduct proper contact tracing. Two employees from the brewery and restaurant tested positive for the virus.
“During the two days closed the brewery has been thoroughly sanitized,” Sandoval wrote. “County health officials have released some of our staff to return to work and many have been instructed to stay home for 10-14 days dependent on test results.”
Accomplice’s seating capacity and hours will be reduced due to the positive cases.
Kathy Emmons, executive director for the Cheyenne/Laramie County Health Department, said the department decided to share the names of the restaurants so patrons would be aware they might have been exposed to coronavirus.
“We were concerned about making sure that people who may have been in those restaurants, if they were to become ill, I don’t want them to just ignore those symptoms,” she said. “It’s kind of a public health heads up. We didn’t want to shame anybody.”
Emmons praised the restaurants involved for their willingness to work with the department.
“And I have to say the restaurants involved have been incredibly cooperative,” she said. “They’re concerned about their patrons and staff also.”