Chuck's Roadhouse employee worked while infectious with COVID-19

An employee at the Chuck's Roadhouse restaurant in Windsor, Ont. worked two shifts while infected with COVID-19, the health unit said Friday.

Manager hopes to reopen Tuesday as restaurant undergoes 'deep clean'

The employee last worked July 24 and 25. (Tahmina Aziz/CBC)

An employee at the Chuck's Roadhouse restaurant in Windsor, Ont. worked two shifts while infected with COVID-19, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit said Friday.

The employee last worked at the Tecumseh Road location on July 24 and 25, officials said Friday — one day after first learning of the employee's positive test result.

Medical officer of health Dr. Wajid Ahmed said the employee was using PPE and physical distancing measures were maintained, meaning exposure to the public remains at a "low risk." However, the health unit said they will be contacting people who attended the business on those days to follow up with them. 

"It's not a reflection at all of the business itself," said Ahmed.

While the health unit normally does not name business experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak, Ahmed said he is electing to identify this business' name in this instance because of potential exposure.

"There was possible interaction with the public and that's why we are reporting it," says Ahmed, adding he doesn't believe the employee knew they were infected with the virus while working those two shifts. "If there was no interaction with anyone, we may not even be reporting it."

Karthik Subramaniam, a manager at the restaurant, said the employee is a female server who started showing symptoms on Monday — two days after she had last worked at Chuck's.

While the health unit normally does not name businesses experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak, officials say they are identifying the business this time around because of potential exposure to the public. (Tahmina Aziz/CBC)

The restaurant has been closed for the day as a "specialized company" comes in to disinfect the restaurant, said Subramaniam. He added the staff normally operate under current health guidelines, like physically distancing from one another and wearing PPE, but this company is needed to perform a "deep clean."

"We have informed all the staff to get tested which they are all doing as we speak. Until the results of all the staff comes back, we are going to be closed," he said.

"If no one has tested positive, then we should be good and back and running on Tuesday."

On Friday, the Ministry of Health also announced amended Stage 3 orders for bars and restaurants across Ontario, which includes requiring bars and restaurants to keep client logs for 30 days and to disclose the client logs to the medical officer of health or an inspector under the Health Protection and Promotion Act on request.

According to Subramaniam, that's something Chuck's Roadhouse has already been doing. But he added many customers have been calling back to find out if the employee was working while they had attended the restaurant.

"We are explaining to them that she worked the evening shift," he said. "We are taking every single precaution ... and we will be back soon running."