Forager Brewery will close temporarily after a part-time employee tested positive for COVID-19, the company reported Saturday.
The closure was announced on the same day that state health officials said there are 24 new cases of COVID-19 in Olmsted County, and two deaths. One week ago, on July 4, Dooley's Pub in downtown Rochester closed after two staff members discovered they were infected.
Annie Henderson, owner of Forager Brewery, posted a video online, talking about the company’s decision to close. According to its website, the business will reopen July 25.
“We feel it’s important to be safe and make sure that the rest of our staff has the opportunity to quarantine and for us to properly sanitize and clean our space,” Henderson said in the video.
Located a short distance north of Civic Center Drive, near Barlow Plaza in northwest Rochester, this will be the first time the brewery has had to actually close during the pandemic, since it was able to offer services like take-out.
Henderson said that when the company reopens, it most likely will “look differently.” She said they will do take-out and will probably restrict dining options to outdoors.
According to the Minnesota Department of Health, statewide there were 806 newly reported cases of COVID-19 and four newly reported deaths as of Saturday afternoon. The Department of Health updates its numbers daily.
Of those new cases, 24 were in Olmsted County. Two of the four newly reported deaths were in Olmsted County. Both of the fatal cases were people in their 90s, according to the state data.
Henderson used the opportunity to stress the importance of wearing face coverings during the pandemic. The Rochester City Council recently approved a mask requirement that is set to last until Sept. 4.
"It's so important you wear a mask. It makes such a big difference," Henderson said. "I just feel terrible for our staff because now they don't have a job for two weeks."