Oceanside Restaurant Temporarily Closes After Two Employees Test Positive For COVID-19
Mission Avenue Bar and Grill in Oceanside temporarily closed on Tuesday out of precaution after two staff members tested positive for COVID-19.
"Both [were] asymptomatic," said owner Cameron Braselton, who has been doing checks on staff regularly during the pandemic.
Braselton did not have to close his eatery, but decided to temporarily shut his doors to do some deep cleaning.
"Your first thought is taking care of your staff — take care of my staff — take care of everyone’s who’s in here," he said.
When the pandemic first hit, Mission Avenue closed completely for about a month before reopening for takeout. Braselton said he nearly shut down for good.
"We ended up getting the PPP loan. We got the second round but it was getting very close to that point (closing permanently)," he said.
The restaurant opened for dining in around Memorial Day and Brasleton said they have been following all reopening guidelines.
"As far as I'm concerned, we’ve been doing everything as best we can," he said.
The restaurant lost a third of its seating by spacing out tables. They require face coverings to come inside and are doing their best to have staff physically distance.
"This is a small place," Braselton said referring to the size of his restaurant. "We’re a small staff, when those employees are working there’s no way you can’t not be around somebody."
Mission Avenue is not the first restaurant to temporarily close after staff tested positive.
"Unfortunately I think that’s going to be the cost of doing business at this point — until maybe a vaccine comes through," Braselton said.
The question is, can restaurants afford to close and sanitize every time someone tests positive?
"I feel safe doing that and I feel like it’s the responsible thing to do," Braselton said. "And yeah it cost us a week in sales, I'm having to pay for all these tests, having to pay for someone to come in to disinfect — you can only do that so much."
Braselton says we are all in this together from customers to servers and bartenders.
"When you’re out just follow the rules, socially distance wear a mask," he said.
This is not considered a COVID-19 outbreak, as that is three or more cases, but that could change. Braselton is having the rest of his staff tested right now and plans to reopen once they all have negative test results.
A San Diego County spokesman said Friday no new restaurant outbreaks had been reported in Oceanside.