Puritan Backroom closes temporarily after bartender tests positive for COVID-19

Cafe la Reine also closes until all staff are cleared, despite no COVID-19 positive results.

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Puritan Backroom/file photo

MANCHESTER, NH – On Tuesday the Puritan Backroom announced it will be closed until Sept. 17 as a precaution after a bartender tested positive for COVID-19 on Sept. 12.

The popular restaurant, owned by the family of Congressman Chris Pappas, said they are working closely with the city health department and have followed safety protocols.
In light of recent closures announced by other city businesses, including Republic/Camp Enoteca and BluAqua, another Elm Street business, Cafe la Reine coffee shop, took a preemptive approach by announcing via Instagram that they were closing to make sure employees are all tested.
In light of recent positive tests at neighboring restaurants, we as a staff have chosen to get tested for COVID-19. At this time, no staff member has tested positive. We will re-open once all tests come back negative, as expected. Thank you for your understanding!
The following message was posted via the Puritan’s Facebook page Tuesday morning:
Dear Puritan Family & Friends,
The Puritan Backroom will be closed on Tuesday, 9/15, and on Wednesday, 9/16, because a Puritan employee has tested positive for COVID-19. While this employee is asymptomatic, we feel it is best to err on the side of caution and take a brief operational pause. The health and safety of our guests and employees is of utmost importance, and we will be taking a number of steps over the next couple days to ensure that feeling of trust. We are working closely with the Manchester Department of Health and Human Services to follow all of their COVID-19 response guidelines. We understand these are unprecedented times, and we appreciate your support and patience as we do our best to safely navigate through them together.
Below please find some additional details that may be of interest:
From the beginning of the pandemic, the Puritan has placed an extreme emphasis on safety, discipline, and distance. Employees must wear facemasks while working, and they are temperature-checked at the beginning of each shift.
The employee that tested positive is a bartender that last worked during the day on Saturday, 9/12. The employee had been in close contact with someone else that was asymptomatic but tested positive for the virus. The employee learned of that positive test at noon on Saturday, and the employee was immediately asked to leave the Puritan, get tested for the virus, and to quarantine pending test results.
The Puritan has identified all other employees that could have been in close contact with the bartender, and everyone will be required to provide a negative test before returning to work.
The Puritan has hired a professional cleaning crew to deep clean and disinfect the entire Puritan facility; the cleaning crew will be using an EPA certified hospital-grade disinfectant throughout the restaurant building.
Thank you to everyone for your understanding. We will continue to provide updates about our virus response efforts, so please be on the lookout for future communication.
In the meantime, please stay safe.
The Puritan Backroom
About Carol Robidoux 6615 Articles
Longtime NH journalist and publisher of ManchesterInkLink.com. Loves R&B, German beer, and the Queen City!