Summit County reports COVID-19 outbreak at Downstairs at Eric’s

Another outbreak of the novel coronavirus has hit Summit County, this time at the Downstairs at Eric’s restaurant in Breckenridge, according to a news release from the county.

Four employees tested positive for the virus, and the restaurant has voluntarily closed for the time being.

Amy Wineland, county public health director, said in the release that the outbreak is “not surprising.” Wineland and other public health officials have maintained that outbreaks are an expected outcome of the pandemic.

This outbreak is the third in the county and second in Breckenridge. On April 29, the county announced an initial outbreak of eight cases at City Market in Breckenridge, which has since grown to 18. The county also announced Monday an outbreak of three cases at Lowe’s in Silverthorne.

While the county’s stay-at-home public health order requires restaurants to be closed for dine-in services, they are allowed to offer curbside pickup, takeout and delivery. Customers who order takeout from the restaurant should not be worried about being exposed to the virus because it does not transfer through food, health officials said.

Some of the sick individuals had socialized together during the week of May 10, according to the release. The four employees who tested positive developed symptoms of the virus from May 11-18. The first test result was confirmed Monday, according to the release.

Wineland praised Downstairs at Eric’s owner Eric Mamula in the news release, saying the restaurant has been “transparent, vigilant and responsive” in the process.

The county’s public health surveillance team has been doing interviews to determine close contacts of the workers who tested positive. The four workers with the virus are self-isolating, and all close contacts are in quarantine. Public health is also reviewing protocols for sanitation and cleaning so the restaurant can reopen.

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