Altamonte Springs restaurant closes after customers tests positive for COVID-19

The owner of Kiwi's Pub & Grill in Altamonte Springs temporarily shut his restaurant down after learning several customers tested positive for COVID-19. 

Richard Culmer, the restaurant's owner, said he learned that several people who visited Kiwi's Pub & Grill last week tested positive for COVID-19. He immediately shut down the restaurant when he heard the news.

"We gave people their tabs and said, 'I’m sorry, but we are closing indefinitely until we get a handle on this,'" Culmer said. "Some of our staff were concerned that they’ve been exposed so we didn’t think we had a choice but to shut down." 

Culmer also let his customers know on Facebook and put a sign on the door saying the eatery will be temporarily closed.

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Culmer said when the restaurant was open, employees were screened and had their temperature checked before each shift. 

Since closing, he said several employees are now showing symptoms. One employee tested positive for COVID-19, while others are still waiting for results, Culmer said.

"Nobody on my staff has worked with symptoms, so I feel confident that we’re not the cause of it," he said.

Florida has seen a spike in COVID-19 cases just over a week into Phase 2 of reopening. The number of new daily coronavirus cases in Florida on Sunday exceeded 2,000 for the second day in a row. Several days earlier in the week saw rises over 1,000.

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"I feel like we opened at 50 percent too early," Culmer said.

He's hoping that customers and other businesses do their part to stop the spread of coronavirus.

"Be proactive, be smart, be responsible. Whatever you do is going to affect us badly if you don’t adhere to the guidelines," Culmer said. "The guidelines are weak as it is, in my opinion, so if you don’t even adhere to them, we’re never going to get rid of this."


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