WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, V.T. (CBS) — The Engine Room, a concert and event venue in Vermont, announced Wednesday that they are cancelling events this week in response to a New Hampshire coronavirus patient attending an event there. The owner said they were not asked to do so by the state and are taking extra precautions.
“We made a decision as a company not to do yesterday’s event, tonight’s event or tomorrow’s event and just do the right thing and make sure that we do the best thing for the company and the community,” Engine Room owner Brandon Fox said Thursday.
Fox said he was notified Tuesday morning that the coronavirus patient had visited his venue, and that he then talked to both the New Hampshire and Vermont health departments. He said they were told that the venue was at low risk for the virus and that they just needed to check staff for symptoms.
So far, no Engine Room staff have shown symptoms of the virus, Fox said. The venue has been communicating with the public about the situation over Facebook the last few days.
“We’re just trying to be clear with everybody, trying to get in front of it and be sure we’re making the right decisions, making sure our staff is safe, our guests are going to be safe going forward,” Fox said.
The Engine Room hired a cleaning company to do a deep clean Wednesday just to be safe, Fox said. He said 175 people had attended the event with the coronavirus patient, but that none of the attendees have contacted him since, including the coronavirus patient.
The coronavirus patient, and the second patient who has been linked to the first, are both staff members at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire. So far, officials have said no patients were exposed.
Dartmouth College said the man was at The Engine Room for a Tuck School of Business social event. He had recently visited Italy and was advised by health officials to self-quarantine before attending the event. New Hampshire health officials issued an official order of isolation to the patient after finding out he had attended the event.
“From what I heard and what I asked, it is true that he was on a voluntary quarantine. Why he went out, I have no clue,” Fox said.
He said cancelling the events has been a big loss for The Engine Room.
“Being in the medical industry or a doctor or whatever that person is, it’s very tough for us because we’re a small business,” Fox said.
He said that The Engine Room will open back up for events next week, and that he is grateful for the support his community has shown him in response.