‘Tamale Guy’ tests positive for COVID-19, recovering at hospital

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Claudio Velez (Tamale Guy Chicago)

CHICAGO — Claudio Velez, affectionately known in Chicago as the “Tamale Guy” tested positive for COVID-19, according to a Facebook posted by his restaurant.

Tamale Guy Chicago posted on Saturday that Velez had a sore throat earlier in the week and has not been to the restaurant on the 2000 block of West Chicago Avenue. The post said while he waited for his test results, his health started to decline. He was admitted to the ICU and put on a ventilator.

The restaurant, which recently opened, will be closed until further notice.

“We have been truly overwhelmed by everyone’s support and kindness over the last few weeks. Please keep Claudio in your thoughts and wish him a speedy recovery,” the restaurant said.

When Tamale Guy Chicago opened earlier in August, the restaurant sold out of food in less than an hour.

The restaurant said Velez is improving, but will be left with extensive medical bills. A GoFundMe was started to help Velez cover the expenses.

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