Coronavirus

Several Phoenix-Area Restaurant Workers Have Begun to Test Positive for COVID-19

The Chandler and Phoenix locations of San Tan Brewing Co., as well as Spirit House, closed on June 12 after two employees tested positive.
The Chandler and Phoenix locations of San Tan Brewing Co., as well as Spirit House, closed on June 12 after two employees tested positive. Lauren Cusimano
Reports of food industry workers in greater Phoenix testing positive for coronavirus have increased from a trickle to a steady stream in recent weeks, following Arizona Governor Doug Ducey lifting stay-at-home restrictions on May 15.

On May 25, the Scottsdale-based Oregano’s Pizza Bistro announced that a staff member at its Queen Creek location had tested positive. Later that week, La Ristra New Mexican Kitchen in Gilbert made a similar announcement, though the employee had not worked since May 19, meaning there been less exposure to other staff members and customers.

click to enlarge The Shop Beer Co. in Tempe has closed its tasting room for now. - CHRIS MALLOY
The Shop Beer Co. in Tempe has closed its tasting room for now.
Chris Malloy
June has seen many more such disclosures, mostly issued via social media. 

Arizona bars and eateries are not required to close if a staff member tests positive for COVID-19, but many have, again.


The Shop Beer Co. closed its tasting room on June 8 after learning a team member, who “is in good spirits and on the path to recovery,” tested positive.

Hash Kitchen in Arcadia, as well as Alo Cafe in Scottsdale, have closed and since reopened due to staff members coming into contact with someone who received a positive COVID-19 test result. The Porch, also in Arcadia, is temporarily closed as of June 11 for the same reason.

Both the downtown Chandler and Uptown Phoenix locations of San Tan Brewing Co. (as well as San Tan's tasting room Spirit House) closed on June 12 after two employees tested positive.

“We’re encouraging our employees to get tested and take additional safety precautions,” reads a statement from SanTan. “While we’re closed, all areas of our restaurants will be thoroughly sanitized. Our doors will re-open once we have ensured that it is safe to serve you again.”

This follows national news of Arizona COVID-19 cases reaching record highs, and Maricopa County reporting its worst week yet in terms of cases.
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Lauren Cusimano is Phoenix New Times' food and drink editor. She is a journalist and food waste writer based in Tempe. Joys include eating wings, riding bikes, knowing everyone at the bar, talking too much about The Simpsons, and falling asleep while reading.
Contact: Lauren Cusimano