ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. – A restaurant and pub in Altamonte Springs is temporarily shutting its doors for the safety of guests and staff after being notified that several people who had recently been at the business had tested positive for COVID-19.
Kiwi’s Pub & Grill owner Rick Culmer posted a message on Facebook Friday night notifying the community of the closure.
“It saddens me to say that Kiwi’s will be closing temporarily effective immediately. We have been informed by 6 different people today that they have been infected with the Coronavirus and they have been inside Kiwis’s within the last week. This may seem like an extravagant step, however we are taking no chances with the health of our staff and our customers,” the post read.
Details were not provided on whether those six people were patrons, employees or other vendors. The message also didn’t indicate when the establishment will reopen.
“It is heartbreaking to feel that we have to take this drastic step. We feel that your time at Kiwis is supposed to be a fun and relaxing experience and currently I don’t feel that we can guarantee that. We will be constantly monitoring the situation and will reopen the restaurant as soon as we feel confident that we can provide a safe and healthy environment,” Culmer wrote.
According to the Florida Department of Health, there have been 91 cases of COVID-19 in the 32714 zip code where Kiwi’s is located since the coronavirus pandemic started to take its toll on the state in March.
Seminole County emergency manager Alan Harris said Friday night that he was not aware of the situation at Kiwi’s and would look into it further. He said there have been a few bars in the Oviedo area, not far from the University of Central Florida, where a cases have popped up.
Overall in Seminole County since March, there have been 655 positive residents, 121 hospitalizations and eight deaths. Statewide, the overall number sits at 70,971 cases, 11,706 hospitalizations and 2,877 deaths.
While many businesses were shuttered across the state in March and April, restaurants were allowed to operate as long as they moved to a take out and delivery only method. They were given the green light to start dine-in services again in early May while bars remained closed until June.