LINCOLN PARK — Middle Eastern restaurant Galit has temporarily closed after a team member tested positive for COVID-19.
The restaurant announced the closure in an Instagram post Wednesday, stating “we will remain closed until we can provide a healthy work environment for our team and then our guests.”
The restaurant at 2429 N. Lincoln Ave. is being sanitized while the rest of its team is quarantined and tested for the virus, according to the restaurant.
“This team member has not come in contact with any guests and is fortunately feeling well,” restaurant leaders said.
Galit is one of 11 restaurants participating in Lincoln Park’s outdoor dining program, which allows restaurants on Lincoln Avenue to set up dining tables in the street between Wrightwood and Fullerton avenues on weekends.
It will return with takeout and delivery service, and weekend outdoor dining, soon, the restaurant said.
Galit is at least the fourth restaurant in Chicago to temporarily close after a worker’s exposure to the coronavirus. Replay Andersonville closed last week after a server at the restaurant and arcade bar tested positive for the virus.
When restaurants began reopening as the city entered Phase 3 of its coronavirus recovery on June 3, servers told Block Club Chicago they were concerned that they had “no safety nets.”
“Just because the state says it’s OK to open up doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s safe to,” one server said at the time. “I think the consensus is we’re going to see a big pop in cases maybe a month into reopening and that will largely fall on us.”
The outdoor dining program is set to continue this weekend, and Ald. Michele Smith (43rd) previously warned customers and restaurants to continue following safety guidelines for the outdoor dining program to succeed.
“The people who are going to these establishments can be the same reason it’s their last weekend,” Smith said at the time. “So people better get sharp, and I encourage establishments to get smart about enforcing rules, too.”
More recently, city officials said this week the Lincoln Park area has seen the largest increase in new COVID-19 infections among people 18–29 years old.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Chicago was “dangerously close” to reversing course on its progress and could close businesses and go back to Phase 3 if cases continue climbing. She and health officials have urged young adults to stop congregating in large groups and to wear masks in order to continue preventing the spread of the disease.
Jake Wittich is a Report for America corps member covering Lakeview, Lincoln Park and LGBTQ communities across the city for Block Club Chicago.
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