Statement from Finn’s regarding COVID positive worker

Tue, 07/07/2020 - 1:30pm

A statement from Finn’s Block Island dated July 7, 2020 to The Block Island Times:

On Sunday, July 5, after a busy holiday weekend, we were informed at approximately 8:45 p.m. by the Block Island Medical Center that one of our returning employees had tested positive — after first testing negative on June 30 and not showing any symptoms — of COVID-19 .

Upon notification, we activated our COVID response plan and have temporarily closed Finn’s Kitchen + Fish Market while we test/retest employees and thoroughly disinfect the property. Our plan is to reopen before the end of the month but we have not yet determined an exact date.

We are working closely with the Block Island Medical Center and the Rhode Department of Health to implement contact tracing and have turned over all relevant information, started quarantining staff that had direct contact, as well as testing/retesting staff as guided by the DOH.

We remain vigilant, dedicated, and laser-focused on providing the island with a safe and exceptional dining experience. As always, we appreciate the continued support of our staff, patrons, and our wonderful community. — Finn’s

Additional Information Here’s what happened:

  • ●  As part of our own preventative measures, we have been testing asymptomatic employees who are arriving mid-season.
  • ●  At the BIMC, two tests were provided at the same time: a rapid, onsite test by Abbott as well as a sample sent off island for analysis with the results for the off-island tests taking roughly 4 to 6 days to receive.
  • ●  On June 30, upon arrival to the island, this asymptomatic individual received a negative result via the rapid, onsite test at the BIMC.
  • ●  When we were notified that the second test came back positive on July 5, we began shutting down the restaurant and immediately escorted the asymptomatic employee off the premises to standalone housing we’d specifically reserved for any quarantine/isolation scenarios. This employee is now quarantined alone and not sharing any facilities with others.

How we’ve prepared/moving forward:

  • ●  Before opening this season, we went to great lengths to ensure the safety of our patrons and staff. We have organized our operation and housing to ensure that employees of our two restaurants are separated and can quarantine appropriately.
  • ●  Out of an abundance of caution, we’ve implemented additional pre-shift screenings of employees at our sister restaurant, Dead Eye Dick’s. Under the direction of DOH, we are confident we can continue operating Dead Eye’s safely. That said, there’s a chance we’ll have to scale back our operating hours as we reconcile staffing needs with DOH advice.
  • A quick note about community and stigma:
  • ●  Block Island is facing an unprecedented, uphill challenge this year. We are all exposed to visitors on a daily basis — some of whom are not abiding by Centers for Disease Control, Rhode Island, and town guidelines. At the end of the day, we are only as strong as our weakest links and we hope our experience and handling of this situation can become a teachable moment for other businesses to take social distancing and mask wearing seriously. The only way we stand a chance to face down this pandemic is as a united front.
  • ●  Lastly, COVID 19 does not discriminate. Celebrities, politicians, athletes, young, and old alike are all susceptible. It’s important to realize we’re all vulnerable and need to support — rather than stigmatize — each other through these uncharted waters.
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