As Humboldt County COVID-19 numbers place it in the red substantial risk tier, rolling back indoor restaurant seating to 25 percent, a trio of Arcata restaurants, Wildflower Cafe & Bakery, Salt Fish House and Campground, have halted service in response to staff exposure.
According to co-owner of Salt Fish House and Campground Dan Willey, he learned an employee had tested positive on the morning of Wednesday, Nov. 18, prompting an immediate shutdown of both restaurants, as there's frequent contact between them.
Willey said it was bound to happen sometime and management was prepared. “We always said from day one if we had an employee who
tested positive … that we would just close down and follow protocols that
was recommended.” Willey said the restaurant has been in touch with the Department of Health and Human Services, and that all 50 employees at Salt and Campground are undergoing testing while the restaurants are "deep cleaned." He expects to be closed at least until after Thanksgiving but, looking at the surge in COVID-19 cases in the county, is braced for possible state-ordered dining closures in the coming weeks. "It's looking like a rough winter," he said.
On Monday, Arcata's Wildflower Cafe & Bakery announced on its Facebook page that staff members "have potentially been exposed to COVID-19," and that while none had tested positive so far, the restaurant would remain shuttered until staffers were confirmed negative for the virus. "We are very sad to have to make this decision," the post continued, "however we want to make sure we are doing our part to keep our community safe." Calls to the restaurant were not immediately returned but we will update if more information becomes available.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect the correct date of Salt and Campground's closure with revised information from the restaurants' co-owner.