A number of restaurants on Hatteras Island have scaled back to take-out services and / or outdoor dining only, or have temporarily closed, amid concerns of rising COVID-19 cases on the island.
At least a half dozen restaurants have announced on social media that they have closed temporarily due to a staff member testing positive for COVID-19, or a staff member being in recent contact with individuals who have tested positive. Citing the need for transparency and safety, the majority of affected restaurants have temporally suspended service, (and have announced their status publically), in order to test all staff members as needed.
“We will now be closed until further notice until all of our staff gets tested,” stated Hatteras Sol in a Monday update after an employee tested positive. “We want to be truthful with our local community and visitors alike because we want to keep everyone safe and healthy as possible. As soon as we have more information, we will let you all know! We thank everyone in advance for their love, understanding and support during these unprecedented times and can’t wait to see you all… as soon as we safely can again!”
“Due to the rise in community spread of COVID-19, we have decided it is in the best interest of our staff and the community to close until our staff can get tested,” stated Kat’s Deli in a similar Monday post. “While no one at the deli is symptomatic or has tested positive, a member of our staff has come in contact with someone who has tested positive. To be on the safe side, our staff is getting tested tomorrow. We are trying to be transparent with our community and stay ahead of this. We are hoping that we will be back open by this weekend! We love our community and want to make sure that we are doing everything in our power to stop the spread!”
Several restaurants, despite having no active cases, have also opted to switch from indoor dining to alternative dining options, (like to-go or outdoor seating only), as a safety precaution.
“Due to the recent spread of COVID-19 we will provide take out only effective immediately,” stated Tavern on 12 on June 26, noting that despite no signs of the virus, the staff was getting tested regardless. “…Unfortunately, we can’t bend this virus to fit our needs.”
As of Tuesday morning, temporary restaurant closures were reported in Rodanthe, Buxton, Frisco and Hatteras village. Hatteras village had the most temporary closures, with more than half of the village’s restaurants now closed or offering limited service.
The public is reminded to use safety precautions when dining out, and to wear asks whenever possible – such as when entering the restaurant, placing an order, or leaving the table to use the restroom.
As of Friday, June 26, face coverings are now required statewide in indoor and outdoor areas where maintaining a distance of more than 6 feet is difficult.
In the past week, (since Tuesday, June 23), Dare County has reported 35 new COVID-19 cases, which includes an additional 14 positive test results on Sunday alone.