It was bound to happen — and it certainly won't be the last time it does. Two popular breweries, both of which had only recently begun serving a limited number of guests at their tables, have decided to re-close for on-site consumption out of an "abundance of caution" because of possible COVID-19 exposures. (Editor's note: as this story went live, a third brewery, Avant Garde Aleworks in Estes Park, also said it will close for the time being after an employee there tested positive for COVID.)
Greeley's Wiley Roots Brewing said on Friday that one of its staff members began experiencing COVID-like symptoms that morning; the individual had not taken a COVID test as of that point.
"Throughout the uncertainty of these past few months, we have been diligent in following the COVID-19 guidelines and regulations from the State of Colorado, as well as the Weld County health department. In fact, we are proud to have gone far beyond these recommendations, by hiring a team to disinfect our taproom bi-weekly, in addition to hourly cleaning by our team," Wiley Roots wrote on Facebook.
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But, "per the recommendation of the State of Colorado department of health and the Weld County health department," the brewery is closed for on-site consumption for the time being and canceled its Fourth of July event. Wiley Roots will continue to offer to-go sales and says employees handling those sales haven't "physically interacted with the affected teammate or front-of-house staff this week."
On Monday, Station 26 Brewing in Denver said it would also temporarily close its taproom for on-site consumption and move to to-go sales only after a patron told the brewery of a positive test. As such, the brewery posted this message on Facebook:
We feel the exposure risk necessitates closure while our staff can receive tests and go through the recommended quarantine protocols.
To date, we have not received any positive tests for anyone on the Station 26 team. Our staff has done an amazing job of implementing and adhering to sanitation measures and social distancing/mask-wearing guidelines. But, as with any business during these re-opening stages, risk was incurred, and it is with an abundance of caution for our staff and guests' health and safety that we make this decision.
Both breweries plan to reopen for on-site drinking when it is safe to do so.