A chef who owns five restaurants and bars in Over-the-Rhine is closing the businesses today to test all employees for COVID-19.

Daniel Wright says on Facebook that he is making the move because an employee at one of the businesses, Pontiac Bourbon & BBQ on Vine Street, informed his or her employer Monday that they have likely tested positive for the illness caused by the new coronavirus.

“The team member was completely asymptomatic and had tested out of caution because of potential exposure,” Wright said.

“I want to state for the record that our company is going above and beyond what is being asked for us to do by the local health departments. We conduct temperature checks on all staff, all staff are required to wear masks, we provide massive amounts of sanitizer, gloves, glass partitions, reduced seating capacities, etc. 

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“What we realize is that despite exceeding the required protocols and with very little federal or state guidance that more needs to be done,” Wright said.

‘This is happening all over our country’

“This is happening all over our country whether people are at work or on vacation.”

Wright also owns these businesses in Over-the-Rhine: the Senate Restaurant on Vine Street, the Abigail Street restaurant on Vine Street, the Forty Thieves restaurant on Race Street and the Holiday Spirits bar on Race Street.

In addition, Wright owns the Senate-Blue Ash in Blue Ash.

Wright said restaurants might consider requiring monthly or bi-monthly mandatory staff testing until the COVID-19 pandemic ends.

“What we want everyone to know that this is not something that we take lightly, this is not something we are being forced to do. This is something we’re choosing to do ensure everyone’s safety under extraordinary circumstances,” Wright said.

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