GRIFFITH, Ind. — Officials in Griffith say the novel coronavirus reached the suburb’s town hall Monday after multiple bars in the town closed due to cases of COVID-19.
An employee in the Clerk Treasurer’s Office tested positive for the virus over the weekend, officials said, after four bars in the town closed voluntarily due to positive COVID-19 cases being reported among either patrons or staff .
Bridge’s Scoreboard Restaurant and Sports Bar, John’s Place, Set ‘Em Up Lanes and the American Legion all recently discovered positive cases of the virus and subsequently closed.
Town Council President Rick Ryfa said the bar and restaurant owners closed voluntarily after finding out about their positive cases, but at least one of them may have already reopened.
“They shut down proactively wanted to get their employees tested to make sure no one could possibly pass any virus. They deep cleaned the facilities and when they are ready to open it would only be under the condition that employees are free of the virus,” Ryfa said.
Ryfa said the exposure happened late last week when town hall employees ate at one of those four establishments and then returned to work.
While the town hall has actually been closed to the public since March, employees have still been working there. Now town hall will be closed to all employees until all tests are back.
Everyone who was in contact with the town hall employee who has tested positive will be tested as well, officials said.
David Dye, the owner of John’s Place, said he found out last week that his friend tested positive for coronavirus, so he got tested too.
“As the owner, I should probably go get ruled out and I actually got ruled in,” Dye said. “I had no symptoms, I hadn’t a clue I’d be positive, thought it was gonna be negative.”
Scott and Jeff Bridges, the owner of Bridges’ Scoreboard Sportsbar, sent in the following statement.
“Since the pandemic has started Bridges’ Scoreboard Sports Bar has followed CDC guidelines. We have a mandatory mask policy for all employees and sanitize our high contact areas several times a day. We have hand sanitizer dispensers in many areas of our facility for customers & employees to use. We discuss masks & sanitizing in our employee meetings often. We are proud of how our employees have handled themselves during this pandemic. When we were informed of a positive test from one of our employees on Friday we shutdown the same day and the next morning we paid an outside company to come in and disinfect our building. We have been shutdown since Friday afternoon and after our extensive cleaning efforts we will reopen Tuesday at 10am. The safety of our employees and customers came first. The financial hit to our business during this pandemic and now with this shutdown has been tough on us. We will keep grinding through this and hope for the best in fighting this invisible enemy, Corona-19. Bridges’ Scoreboard would like to thank our loyal customers for helping us get through 7-plus months of this pandemic thus far.”