Coastal Health District leaders discuss protocol for restaurant workers testing positive for COVID-19

Coastal Health District leaders discuss protocol for restaurant workers testing positive for COVID-19

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Over the past weekend we’ve seen an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the Coastal Health District and here in Chatham County.

We’ve also seen some of those cases come from employees at local restaurants, and from customers at local restaurants.

Coastal Health District leaders say they have protocol for local businesses when someone does test positive.

“The people that are posting that are being very proactive and careful and you know trying to be good stewards of everything. It’s typically not the places that you know of where you’re going to get in trouble it’s going into the one that you don’t know about or who is not letting people know that they’ve got somebody who’s positive,” said Dr. Lawton Davis, Director of the Coastal Health District.

When a person tests positive, the health department investigates the case and gets in touch with their close contacts. This happens when a case is discovered in businesses too.

Health officials speak to the manager and go through the details, which vary depending on if the employee had contact with guests and if they symptomatic.

"We try to work with the facilities to make sure that they understand what sort of cleaning needs to be done, who needs to be on quarantine."

Restaurants do not have to tell customers if a person at the facility tests positive. Those who are diagnosed cannot come to work, but their close contacts can as long as they wear a mask and are symptom free.

Dr. Davis says businesses can decide for themselves to stay open or closed, but ultimately you make the call if you feel safe to go or not.

"Just because it may be permissible to go somewhere or attend a function or do some particular activity there's nothing that says you must do that. You can still make smart and intelligent conservative choices."

Visitors here in Savannah say they do feel comfortable going to restaurants in our area because they see a lot of proactive steps being taken.

“Everybody’s you know wearing their mask and uh I feel totally safe,” said Luis Perez who is visiting form Florida.

“We just are trusting I mean we keep our hands clean we keep our selves clean and we know that they are too and you just if you don’t feel safe in a place don’t go,” said Cindy and Bryan Green who are visiting from Louisiana.

Dr. Davis says if you do get a test you cannot do it immediately after exposure as it takes several days for the virus to appear.

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