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Three Canton restaurants have closed after employees tested positive for coronavirus

Several Canton restaurants — Lee’s Pint & Shell, Cowboy Row and Looney’s Pub — have closed over the past week after employees tested positive for COVID-19.

Seafood restaurant Lee’s Pint & Shell announced on its Facebook page Wednesday that three employees had tested positive, and that it would close immediately.

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The employees had worked between Thursday and Tuesday, the restaurant said on Facebook, adding that it planned to hire a company to deep-clean the restaurant.

In a comment, the restaurant’s account stated that Lee’s would likely reopen next week.

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The oyster bar made headlines in early April after social media posts showed customers gathering outside the restaurant in close proximity well ahead of any relaxed restrictions in the city. After criticism from Councilman Zeke Cohen, who represents the neighborhoods surrounding Lee’s, the owner pledged to place tape on the ground outside to encourage people to stand further apart and monitor the crowds more closely.

Canton saloon Cowboy Row posted on its Facebook page on Monday to announce the restaurant’s closure after one employee tested positive.

Looney’s Pub in Canton announced it would shutter on Saturday after an employee’s positive test. The employee hadn’t worked in a week, according to the restaurant’s Facebook page, but the business wanted to be “proactive and transparent.”

The city is currently in the second phase of its reopening plan, which permits restaurants to operate at 50% capacity indoors and offer outdoor seating. Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young has said that if the city’s numbers of coronavirus cases, deaths and hospitalizations worsen for five consecutive days, the city could reverse course.

The zip code that includes all three of the Canton restaurants — 21224 — had the fifth-highest total of confirmed coronavirus cases in the state as of Wednesday, according to the state’s coronavirus tracking website. The top four zip codes were all in Prince George’s or Montgomery counties.

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