Over the Christmas holiday, three employees of The Fold Botanas & Bar, which had announced Dec. 26 it would be closed through Dec. 29, tested positive for COVID-19. On New Year’s Day, the restaurant announced on Facebook it would revert to takeout only for the time being. It cited the recent employee infections and the rise in COVID-19 cases everywhere. Here’s the Facebook announcement:
Happy New Year Everyone! Due to our recent closure caused by our staff’s exposure to Covid, we have decided to move to takeout only for the time being. We appreciate your support and understanding as we navigate these challenging times. We feel this is the safest move due to the overwhelming increase in the number of cases everywhere.
We will be offering our Annual New Year’s Day Brunch……to go of course!
We will be open with regular hours, Tue – Sun 11 AM – 10 PM
Online ordering is always available.
The state recorded its highest one day increase on New Year’s Day with 4,304 cases, over 1k more than its previous record of 3,204 set on Christmas Eve.
Despite a White House COVID-19 task force report suggestion in November that the state cut indoor dining to 25 percent capacity, Governor Hutchinson has declined to alter his order setting the limit at two-thirds. Trio’s Restaurant, however, announced Nov. 19 it would follow the White House guidelines and reduce indoor dining capacity to 25 percent. Even after doing so, in early December, seven employees tested positive, not including co-owners Capi Peck and Brent Peterson. Trio’s then closed, had everyone on staff tested, quarantined and has reopened with seating at 25 percent capacity.
Restaurant capacity in Arkansas has been 66 percent since the phase 2 reopening of the economy on June 15. On June 15, there were 419 new COVID-19 cases reported in the state totaling 15,561 with 4,880 active cases, 244 hospitalizations. The New Year’s Day report recorded 4,304 new daily infections with 23,930 active cases, 1,185 hospitalizations and 229,442 total reported cases. Comparatively speaking, community transmission is far worse now.
There has been one mitigation effort put in place for restaurants since the phase 2 reopening. The governor announced on Nov. 19 that bars close at 11 p.m.