Newport News Times | COVID outbreak has ripple effect through Bayfront

Fibo Quantum

NEWPORT — The outbreak at Pacific Seafood prompted cautionary moves from nearby businesses to protect their workers and the community.

After Pacific Seafood announced on Sunday, June 7, that 124 of its Newport workers had tested positive for COVID-19, Bayfront restaurant Local Ocean announced it will close for both in-house and take-out dining service for the month of June but will continue its weekend meal packages. In a post to its Facebook page on Monday, owner Laura Anderson wrote, “Today I say: We all just need to take a break. This weekend’s community outbreak came at us so fast. It was a game changer for us and Newport as a whole. My heart goes out to each person touched by this outbreak.” Anderson wrote that they’d sent 52 employees for testing as a precaution, and so far, none have tested positive.

“There is no single right answer for how to deal with the current state of business,” Anderson wrote. “But trust that those that are still open are taking all the necessary steps to ensure safety. They are making difficult choices every day, investing extra dollars and personal hours in the safety of their employees and guests.”

Clearwater Restaurant on the Bayfront announced Friday, when there were only five cases known to be connected to the outbreak, that it would close for a few days “to ensure our staff and guests are safe … considering the number of touch points in our small community.” It was not clear as of press time when Clearwater would reopen or if it would continue sit-down dining at that time.

Mo’s Seafood and Chowder said Tuesday it will close its original Bayfront location, as well as Mo’s West in Otter Rock, for two weeks.

Though not on the Bayfront, Sorella at Nye Beach announced Monday it would temporarily shut down and reopen Wednesday for carry-out service only, and a Tuesday post by Ric Rabourn, CEO of Hallmark Inns & Resorts, announced the temporary closure of that company’s two restaurants at Nye Beach — Georgie’s and Pacific Kitchen. Rabourn said they would provide testing to all employees “and then make a determination as to when it makes the most sense to reopen.”