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More restaurants in Baltimore’s Canton close after employees contract COVID-19

Several more restaurants in Baltimore’s Canton neighborhood have temporarily closed in recent days after employees tested positive for COVID-19.

Among them are The Chasseur, El Bufalo Tequila Bar & Kitchen, and The Pig & Rooster Smokehouse, which all announced closures on their Facebook pages Friday in response to at least one employee contracting the disease.

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Southern Provisions, another Canton bar and restaurant, announced it would close its doors Saturday afternoon.

As of Wednesday afternoon, at least three restaurants in Canton had shuttered after positive test results from employees. But the closures have continued leading into the Fourth of July weekend.

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Canton’s ZIP code, 21224, remains something of a state hotspot, with the fifth-highest total of confirmed cases. Each of the ZIP codes ranked above Canton’s are located in Prince George’s or Montgomery counties, both of which have more cases than Baltimore.

Southern Provisions said on its Facebook page Saturday that it would remain closed until owners could be “confident” about reopening safely.

“Every single employee is being tested immediately,” the Facebook post read. ”We are ensuring the entire footprint of our establishment is going to be sanitized.”

The Chasseur, a restaurant and bar with a rooftop patio, had only been offering outdoor service, according to a July 1 Facebook post. “While we have not had any of our employees test positive for Covid-19, we have for the time being decided to only use our outdoor seating,” the post read.

In a post on Friday, the restaurant announced it would temporarily close because an employee had tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. The restaurant announced it had contracted with cleaning company Pure Eco Solutions, which is to clean the restaurant on Monday. The Chasseur is planning to reopen on Wednesday, the post said.

The Pig & Rooster, which shares ownership with The Chasseur, also announced it would close in preparation for a Monday cleaning and would reopen Wednesday.

El Bufalo also said on its Facebook page that it intended to reopen.

“While the health and safety of our guests is paramount, we know they can dine with us in a safe environment given our strict adherence to capacity, safety measures and service protocols,” the post read.

Messages sent to all four locations were not immediately returned Saturday.

As COVID-19 cases have recently surged nationwide amid loosening restrictions in many states, restaurant closures have mounted once more. Last week, for example, Delaware Gov. John Carney announced the closure of bars in the state’s beach towns, including Rehoboth, a popular destination close to Ocean City, Maryland.

Maryland, however, has so far avoided such a surge, and Gov. Larry Hogan has not reversed the state’s reopening plan. Baltimore is in its second reopening phase, which allows for outdoor dining at restaurants and limited indoor dining. Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young’s Phase 2 announcement, which came June 19, also prompted the reopening of major city attractions such as the Maryland Zoo and the National Aquarium.

Young has said that a five-day uptick in new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths could force an about-face. Over the past few days, the number of new daily cases in Baltimore has declined slightly. On Thursday 96 new cases were reported, followed by 88 Friday and 68 Saturday.

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