June 13, 2020
By Tiffany Razzano
ST. PETERSBURG – Three downtown St. Petersburg businesses have temporarily closed after employees tested positive for COVID-19.
The Galley, a tavern located at 27 4th St. N., as well as arcade bar Parks & Rec, 100 4th St. S., and restaurant/bar The Avenue Eat + Drink, 330 1st Ave. S., shut their doors Friday after learning several staff members were sick.
“Earlier this afternoon, we at The Galley learned that a few of our staffers have tested positive for COVID-19. All those exhibiting any symptoms were told to immediately see a doctor and obtain a test. We have quarantined those staffers for the recommended 14 days,” The Galley posted to Facebook Friday. “However, due to these recent events, and the spike of cases here in Downtown St. Pete, and out of an abundance of caution, we are shutting down The Galley temporarily. We will reopen when we are able to test all of our employees, not just those whom have experienced symptoms of the novel coronavirus. We believe we are doing the right thing in the interest of public health at this time and will use this extra time to further deep clean and professionally sanitize our space.”
Parks & Rec and The Avenue also discussed their closures on Facebook. Both businesses are owned by restaurateur Stephen Schrutt and they shared the same post to social media.
“Earlier today, we became aware of a staff member who tested positive for COVID-19,” the post read. “Out of an abundance of caution and to ensure the safety of our customers, we have temporarily closed Park & Rec DTSP to thoroughly sanitize our restaurant. Additionally, all of our staff is being tested for coronavirus. Any team members testing positive will be quarantined and will not return to work until a doctor has deemed it safe. The safety of our staff and guests is of utmost importance; we appreciate your patience and understanding as we work through this.”
According to the Florida Department of Health, there were 1,889 confirmed coronavirus cases in Pinellas County as of Friday evening. The demographic most affected in Pinellas, with 362 cases, are those between the ages of 25 and 34. There were 70,971 total cases in the state as of Friday.