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Local restaurant speaks out after employee tests positive for COVID-19

Coronavirus in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Connie’s Mexico Cafe is speaking out after one of their employees tested positive for COVID-19.

“It can happen to any business anyone at any time,” said Connie’s Mexico Cafe Manager, Carla Banuelos. “We followed every protocol, washing hands, wearing gloves, wearing masks, and it still happened.”

The employee started to feel ill over the weekend, went to get tested, and got results back on Monday. Banuelos said they immediately closed their doors and informed staff they all needed to get tested.

The restaurant employs more than 20 staff members, all of who are now unable to work. So far, only four employees have been able to get tested for the virus.

“Everywhere we went we were turned down, they told us we would have to make an appointment or we would have to have two or more symptoms to get tested on the spot,” said Banuelos.

Banuelos said employees who haven’t been tested yet are on a waitlist to get tested later this week, but she worries that the holdup in testing will cause further delays.

“We are not going to open our doors, we cannot even talk about opening our doors until all of our employees get tested so, therefore, that’s every day of the restaurant being closed, that’s every day our employees are not getting paid and just waiting,” said Banuelos. “So it’s unfortunate for all of us.”

The restaurant said the employee did work on Friday and Saturday. The Sedgwick County Health Department recommends any customers who may have been in the restaurant between those two days monitor their symptoms and get tested if any symptoms start to develop.

Banuelos said they have hired a cleaning company to disinfect and sanitize, which will be happening this week. The restaurant doesn’t have a reopening date scheduled at this time.

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