We have spoken with several restaurant owners in Round Rock and it seems they are all adjusting to the New Normal. They have developed and implemented plans to protect their staff, suppliers, delivery services, and their customers and it has not been an easy task. To complicate the issue the “FACTS” on how the COVID-19 virus is spread seems to change constantly. Just today the W.H.O. announced a change in how they believe the virus is spreading.
As far as the transmission of the virus through food, all the experts seem to agree that COVID-19 does not transfer through prepared food. They are more concerned about transfer through the packaging, the physical surroundings, and through personal contact with an infected person. The first two issues can be handled with sanitizing procedures and training, so these issues are not the restaurant’s biggest challenge. The biggest challenge is the person to person contact issue. While the restaurant managers have educated and are monitor the health of the employees, the wild card is the customers themselves.
If an infected customer enters a restaurant they could spread COVID-19. If all the procedures that are in place are followed then the staff or other customers will not be infected. However, when the infected customer is tested and diagnosed with a confirmed case of COVID-19 the tracing team will ask them where they have been and who they have been in contact with. Once the restaurant is informed that an infected person has been in their facility, out of an abundance of caution the restaurant will close and re-sanitize. Any workers who may have come in contact with the customer may be asked to stay at home and quarantine. If a worker is diagnosed with a confirmed case of COVID-19, the restaurant will close and re-sanitize, and the infected worker, as well as any other workers that may have come in close contact with the infected worker, will be asked to quarantine.
These scenarios have already temporarily closed several restaurants and Coffee shops in our community and sadly more may have to do the same. It is the New Normal for an already beleaguered industry.
The bottom line is when you hear that a restaurant has been closed for cleaning it does not mean that the restaurant is unsafe or the cause of transmission. The virus may not even be present in the restaurant or the staff because the person with a confirmed case of the virus may have contracted the virus after they visit the restaurant but, out of an abundance of caution to protect their staff and their customers, restaurants are taking extra steps to ensure everyone’s safety.
Please keep this in mind that restaurants that are closing to re-sanitize are taking every precaution possible to keep you and your family safe and are one of the safest places to eat because they have proven they do not take chances with your health.