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Worker At AJ’s Tests Positive For COVID-19

AJ’s Texas Hots restaurant on Foote Avenue announced via Facebook Monday afternoon that a part-time employee not working in contact with customers had tested positive for COVID-19.

According to the post, the employee was not feeling well on June 25 and left work for the remainder of the week, eventually undergoing a coronavirus test. “On July 2 that test came back positive for COVID-19,” reads the statement. “He is now in quarantine and in communication with the (Chautauqua County Health Department) about his condition.”

Sam Fitch, AJ’s co-owner and general manager, said Monday that the employee typically works around 15-20 hours per week, and had been on staff for a some time.

“He was not in any way involved with the public. He was not waiting on customers or in the drivethru window,” Fitch said. “We will do what is asked of us from the health department once we find out. They have yet to reply to our inquiring. We’re just kind of waiting around to hear from them and see what their recommendations our. We’re doing everything we know to do — wearing masks, hand sanitizer everywhere, taking temperatures of people when they come to work.”

Starting Monday, restaurant staff made the decision to test employees for elevated temperature upon their arrival to work.

“That was just something that we started doing. We just found out on the second that he tested positive, we’ve literally been open one business day-and-a-half since we found out,” Fitch said. “Today is our first day open after the weekend. We started taking temperatures this morning as people came to work.”

After stating earlier on Monday that he was still waiting to hear from the county Health Department, Fitch said he was able to make contact with officials later in the day.

“I spoke with the health department, and they are satisfied with the measures that we have taken and there is no cause for alarm,” Fitch said. “They were satisfied with the measures that we as a business have been taking and they say there is no reason to be alarmed. So we are going to operate as business as usual.”

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