Florida Restaurant Shuts Down After Cook Calls to Say He Has COVID But 'Felt Good' -- And Dies Hours Later

“While talking to this person last night, they let us know the only symptom they had was a hard time breathing, and that they felt good about it all. Unfortunately, things changed this morning.”

A popular seafood restaurant in Florida has closed after one of its employees suddenly died of COVID-19.

The Lucky Pelican in Lakewood Ranch posted a terrifying message on Facebook revealing a cook had called late on Wednesday night to confirm he had tested positive for the Coronavirus, but that he felt good — he was dead the following morning.

“Due to a COVID related incident we are closing the restaurant at this time,” it wrote on Thursday. “We were notified around 11:10am today that one of our day time line cooks passed away from COVID.”

The restaurant said the employee had not been in work since last Friday, July 3; over the weekend they began to feel symptoms, and decided to get tested. The cook did not return to work while waiting on the results.

“Late last night, this individual let us know they had received their results and they were positive,” the eatery revealed. “While talking to this person last night, they let us know the only symptom they had was a hard time breathing, and that they felt good about it all.”

“Unfortunately, things changed this morning.”

The Lucky Pelican said that since the state reopened restaurants, it had gone above and beyond to keep the establishment safe.

It said it was posting the tragic news in an effort to stay transparent, adding that the restaurant would remain closed while all staff were tested.

It did however plan on reopening once the results were received.

As reported by the Herald Tribune, the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County stands by its decision not to publish the names of restaurants where employees have tested positive for COVID-19, because it is pointless.

“An individual’s opportunity to be exposed to COVID-19 at this time is elevated everywhere in the community,” spokesperson G. Steve Huard told the publication.

“Identifying specific restaurants that have had a COVID-19 positive staff does not eliminate risk of exposure, nor does it necessarily identify their exposure if they become infected. With an incubation period that can be as long 14 days, it becomes very difficult to identify the exact source of exposure.”

He added: “This is why it is essential for individuals to continue to social distance, practice good hand hygiene, stay home when they are sick and wear a mask when appropriate.”

With almost 244k cases of the virus to date, Florida is the third most infected state in the US, behind New York and California.

[via TooFab]

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