UPDATED: Hurricane liquor store closes after employee tests positive for COVID-19

HURRICANE — The state-run liquor store in Hurricane, located at 202 N. Foothills Canyon Dr., closed Wednesday morning after an employee tested positive for COVID-19.

The Hurricane Utah Wine and Liquor store closed after an employee tested positive for COVID-19, Hurricane, Utah, Sept. 2, 2020 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

After receiving confirmation that an employee tested positive for the coronavirus, the Hurricane Utah State Liquor and Wine store closed Wednesday morning indefinitely, Terry Wood, director of communications and public information officer for the Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, told St. George News. They are currently working with the local health department to determine any other exposures.

“I don’t have any other details of the test. It either came back last night or this morning,” he said, referencing the employee’s COVID-19 test.

Around five other liquor stores in the state have closed due to COVID-19, Wood said. Some of those instances did not necessitate customers to get tested because the employee who tested positive hadn’t been to the store after they were infected.

“We do ask all our employees to not come into work if they’re feeling sick or having symptoms, even if they haven’t been tested,” Wood said. “So it’s possible that may have been the case. We just don’t know yet.”

In this instance, Wood said they will continue to further investigate the issue with the county health department but are not asking customers of the liquor store to get tested at this time.

The state-run liquor store in Hurricane is closed until further contact tracing is performed, Hurricane, Utah, Sept. 2, 2020 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

“It could change,” he said. “And if it does, we will definitely be letting people know.”

In the meantime, some of the other employees are getting tested.

“We can’t mandate that they get health tests, but they are getting COVID tests just in case,” Wood said.

While they continue to perform contact tracing, the Utah Department of Facilities and Construction Management will be disinfecting and sanitizing the store.

“At present, we do not have a time or date of reopening. We will issue further information as soon as possible,” he said.

On Thursday, Wood said it had been determined that no customers were in contact with the employee who tested positive for COVID-19. The store is schedule to reopen again for business at 11 a.m. on Friday.

David Heaton, the public information officer for the Southwest Utah Public Health Department, told St. George News that businesses typically wouldn’t need to close unless enough employees were exposed to be understaffed; customers would not likely need to go concerned since exposure is defined as close range for at least 15 minutes.

Updated Sept. 3, 4:26 p.m. Information was added about the reopening of the store, results of the contract tracing and a response from David Heaton.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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