2 more local restaurants close temporarily due to COVID-19 exposure; one urges diners to be tested

Dining room of the Wellington Grille in Beavercreek. 2013 file photo by CHRIS STEWART / STAFF
Dining room of the Wellington Grille in Beavercreek. 2013 file photo by CHRIS STEWART / STAFF

Credit: Dayton Daily News

Credit: Dayton Daily News

Customers of The Wellington Grille, Harrison’s Restaurant praise owners' transparency

Two more Dayton-area restaurants announced over the weekend that they have closed temporarily due to possible COVID-19 exposure, and owners of The Wellington Grille in Beavercreek urged customers who dined at the restaurant anytime over a three-day period earlier this month to get tested.

“Full disclosure: we had a staff member test positive for COVID-19," the owners of The Wellington Grille, a fine-dining restaurant at 2450 Dayton-Xenia Road in Beavercreek, said in a Facebook post Saturday. “We would urge anyone that visited our establishment during the dates of 10/3/20 to 10/5/20 to get tested at your local testing site. Luckily we have traced no spread so far from this and are taking every possible precaution to ensure everyone’s safety.”

The restaurant shut down Saturday night to “take steps to ensure our staff and the public’s safety," the Wellington Grille owners said. "We are working very closely with state and local authorities to take all the steps needed as well as some extra steps to ensure our safe return to providing you with the best possible service we can. We will be having our entire restaurant professionally sanitized and cleaned as well as all staff and anyone in contact tested and given the green light to return.”

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Harrison’s Restaurant in Tipp City posted a similar notice on its Facebook page over the weekend.

“Being a family run business, the safety and well-being of our staff and guests are always our highest priorities,” the restaurant’s owners said. “While we have taken careful precaution to provide a safe environment for guests and patrons alike, it’s important to us that we be fully transparent and let our guests know that this afternoon we received notice that we have experienced exposure to COVID-19, as you can spread the virus for up to 48 hours before developing symptoms. We made the difficult decision to immediately close and will remain closed until further notice, as we need time for our entire facility to be professionally sanitized and our staff to be tested. As always, we thank you for your support.”

The two independent restaurants have a family connection: Mary Miller, who co-owned and operated the Barnsider restaurant in Harrison Twp. for more than four decades before it shut down in 2016, co-founded The Wellington Grille in 1998 with other members of her family, and became co-owner of Harrison’s in 2005.

No employees are shared between the two restaurants, a spokesperson for Harrison’s told this news outlet Monday morning, Oct. 12.

In Facebook comments, customers of both restaurants thanked the owners for the notices and praised their transparency. There is no specific legal requirement in Ohio that mandates restaurant owners must disclose staff members' positive COVID-19 tests.

“Thank you for your honesty,” one customer of Harrison’s wrote. “We will all be waiting and ready to support you when you reopen.”

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“Prayers to everyone, and thank you for your due diligence to ensure safety for everyone — staff and guests,” a customer of The Wellington Grille wrote.

According to Responsible Restart Ohio protocols created by state health officials and Gov. Mike DeWine to help keep the coronavirus pandemic in check, it is mandatory for bars and restaurants to “immediately isolate and seek medical care for any individual who develops symptoms while at work, contact the local health district about suspected cases or exposures, and shut down the area for deep sanitation if possible.”

The “recommended best practices” in such cases call upon a restaurant or bar to “work with the local health department to identify potentially infected or exposed individuals to help facilitate effective contact tracing/notifications; once testing is readily available, test all suspected infections or exposures; and following testing, contact the local health department to initiate appropriate care and tracing,” according to the Responsible Restart Ohio document.

On Friday, Warped Wing Brewing Co. temporarily closed its downtown Dayton craft brewery and restaurant due to an employee’s positive COVID-19 test. The brewery’s new Springboro location was not affected.

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