By MARINA WATERS
The Black Olive in Jonesborough has temporarily closed its doors due to the COVID-19 virus.
Co-owner of the restaurant, Kinsey Holliday, confirmed that four employees have tested positive for the novel virus.
Holliday said two employees were showing mild cold-like symptoms with no fever when they got a rapid test on Tuesday, Nov. 17. Both results came back positive, which convinced the restaurant owners to temporarily close.
“We closed an hour after that,” Holliday told the Herald & Tribune. “Just because they barely had any symptoms, we didn’t know if everybody had it.”
After the first two employees tested positive, two more with mild symptoms also tested positive.
Holliday said the restaurant has been in contact with the Washington County Health Department and the four employees will be out for 14 days. Meanwhile, the restaurant plans to reopen sometime next week.
“We have a location in Elizabethton,” Holliday said, ‘So we plan to bring some of those employees over here for the time being.”
Holliday said the decision to close was a clear choice, but certainly not an easy one.
“We felt like it was a definite (that the restaurant needed to close). We felt like it was something we had to do for everyone,” Holliday said. “Some of our servers were upset because this is right before Christmas and they will lose that tip money. It’s just tough all around.”
Holliday added that though it’s hard on all involved to temporarily close the business, she’s thankful for the support The Black Olive has received from the community.
“Everyone’s been so great about it,” Holliday said. “We’ve gotten a lot of support. We are so thankful and blessed.”
For more information and updates go to https://www.facebook.com/The-Black-Olive-258358084362087.