GLOUCESTER, Mass. — The North Shore community of Gloucester is experiencing a domino effect of voluntary restaurant and business closures due to an uptick in COVID-19 cases.
Gloucester Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken told Boston 25 News that the city is dealing with 53 active cases.
She said the uptick in cases has mainly been traced back to a large gathering or social event.
Boston 25 News has learned that workers from different industries are testing positive for COVID-19 which is prompting the recent wave of temporary closures.
Mayor Theken emphasized that none of the closures have been mandatory.
“Many of our local restaurants and businesses have proactively closed to sanitize and to get their employees tested to help stop the spread in our community,” said Theken. “I thank and applaud them for their efforts and decisions.”
The Cape Ann Brewing Company announced on social media that its pub is closed for two weeks after a member of the kitchen staff tested positive.
“The staff member worked on Saturday and Sunday of this past weekend and at that time felt fine. He remains symptom free, for which we are grateful,” read a Facebook post from the business.
The 1606 Restaurant and Bar inside the Beauport hotel and the Seaport Grille, affiliated with the Beauport Hospitality Group, are also temporarily closed.
A company spokeswoman told Boston 25 News that neither of the employees who tested positive had contact with guests and that the hotel itself has not been affected.
“We are saddened that this has ‘hit home’ and one of our own team has now been directly affected by this virus. While not required to do so, as a preventative measure, our move to temporarily close for cleaning and testing hopes to assure the health, safety and peace of mind of our employees as well as our guest community,” said Danielle McNally, marketing director for Beauport Hospitality Group.
Some employees at other restaurants that remain open told Boston 25 News they are uneasy by the recent closures.
“We’re all just hoping for the best and hoping we get to keep working,” said Shawna Palminteri, who works as a server at Minglewood Harborside. “I would not be shocked if I got a call tomorrow saying, hey we’re shut down.”
The City of Gloucester along with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health is offering free COVID-19 testing, open to all residents, at Stage Fort Park from 9 a.m. through 3 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 15 and Friday, Oct. 16.
Mayor Theken told Boston 25 News the city expects nearly 1,200 tests will be taken and that she hopes to extend the testing into next week.
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