COOPERSTOWN – With Heidi Bond, Otsego County Public Health Director, citing “at least one case” of COVID-19 each among staff members at Mel’s at 22 and the Hawkeye Grill at The Otesaga, both restaurants have temporarily shut their doors to diners.
“Until recently, we have been very fortunate that our Mel’s at 22 community has not been affected by COVID 19,” wrote Brian Wrubleski, owner of Mel’s, in a Facebook posting on Christmas Eve. “Last week one of our servers tested positive. In accordance with the best practices from the department of health, we have decided to remain closed until the new year. This will give us time to make sure that all of our team members are safe and healthy before returning to serving you.”
“We don’t require businesses to close if a staff member tests positive for COVID,” said Bond. “But we do recommend they close for at least 24 hours for cleaning.”
Bond said that she was “unaware” of similar restaurant closures elsewhere in the county, although previously, Applebee’s, the Latte Lounge, Red’s Ale House, the Red Jug Pub and the Copper Fox all closed temporarily after COVID cases were reported among patrons and staff members.
Both restaurants reportedly plan to open after New Year’s Day, 2021.