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Some Acadiana restaurants being transparent with customers about COVID-19 cases

Posted at 11:43 PM, Jun 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-30 07:02:34-04

LAFAYETTE PARISH — Some Acadiana restaurant owners are being transparent with their customers during the coronavirus pandemic.

Those restaurants have decided to close their doors after employees tested positive for COVID-19, even though they don't have to.

There's no law or health order requiring restaurants to disclose when an employee gets sick with coronavirus.

Read more on What must businesses do when an employee tests positive?

However, just this month alone, several restaurants have shared information on Facebook with the public and temporarily closed their doors.

Prejean's is one of them, saying they just want to be honest with their customers and that it's the right thing to do.
"We decided it was best for our customers and employees that we close down, re-group and do more cleaning with additional training for our staff," Prejean's owner Bud Guilbeau said.

Guilbeau said he brought in a crew to deep clean the restaurant after closing last week. He said he's more worried about people's health than he is about losing revenue.

"It was about making sure everybody knew what was going on," Guilbeau said. "We're trying to make sure we're building the community that's around us and protecting the community that's around us. That is of the utmost importance for me and my entire staff."

Currently, there are CDC recommendations, but not mandated rules.

On its website, the CDC recommends that restaurants and bars notify health officials, close contacts, and their staff of cases as a way to inform others of any possible exposure.

They also recommend to clean and disinfect after a positive test. Prejean's has taken these steps along with others.

"We have a sanitation person who comes around all day, disinfecting door knobs handles, anything touched by customers or employees," Guilbeau said. "So when this happened and we realized we would have to close we got another crew in with more disinfectant and sanitzers to do a deeper disinfect of the restaurant."

He added, "We're hoping our customers see we're doing everything in our power to keep them safe because that's really what we're trying to do. We want to be able to serve them and give them an excellent experience and share the Cajun culture that we love with them, but first we need to make sure they're safe and we need to make sure we're doing our part in preventing the spread of this virus whenever we can."

The restaurant has cleaned and also tested other employees. Now they plan on reopening on Thursday, July 2.