By Christina Hager

WHITMAN (CBS) – More and more restaurants are being forced to temporarily close when employees become infected with COVID-19. At the popular Peaceful Meadows Ice Cream in Whitman, a stream of customers pulled up to the stand Monday, confused by the sign that read “closed.”

“I’m aware of three positive tests,” said Town Administrator Frank Lynam. At last check, he said a dozen other employees were still awaiting results.

“Yikes,” said Daniel Roth, who stopped by, and was surprised to find it closed. “Unfortunate really,” he said.

Another customer, Diane Connor, felt she should have been notified, since she and her husband go to the shop nearly every night. “I think if you put a sign outside, that would be enough. I mean that’s kind of contacting you,” she said.

But Lynam said the risk to customers is probably minimal. “I would guess they’re probably exposed for two minutes when they buy ice cream at the counter, because people are just there to buy & leave.”

In Foxboro, Tavolino and Citizen Crust, two restaurants under the same ownership at Patriot Place, reopened Monday. When staff at the restaurants tested positive last week, they shut down for several days.

Management posted a statement on social media. “Any additional employees who were potentially exposed are being tested prior to returning to work…guests who may have been exposed have been notified.”

Massachusetts reopening guidelines recommend restaurants collect information from guests, so they can be reached if contact tracing is necessary later.

Christina Hager

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