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.”
“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.