Popular restaurant temporarily closes doors

HARLINGEN — One of the city’s oldest and most popular restaurants is temporarily closing after an employee contracted the coronavirus.

The Las Vegas Café is closing its doors for 14 days after the employee tested positive earlier this week.

“Unfortunately, this afternoon we were informed that one of our workers tested positive for COVID-19,” the restaurant posted on its Facebook page Wednesday.

“The safety of everyone, including our employees, visitors, consumers, and especially our community are our number-one priority,” the restaurant posted. “We immediately made the decision to temporarily close the restaurant — immediately gave ourselves the task of doing a deep-clean and sanitation according to CDC rules and procedures.”

At the restaurant, a telephone recording says employees have “self-quarantined.”

Now, the restaurant is testing its employees for the virus.

“Even if it’s not required, all our employees will be tested and under guard for the next 14 days,” the restaurant posted on Facebook, drawing 547 responses from residents.

At City Hall, Josh Ramirez, the city’s public health director, said businesses are not required to close after employees test positive for COVID-19.

“The employee should be removed and sent home, the area where the employee was working should be disinfected, if the person was in close contact with somebody that person should be in observation and temperatures of other employees should be taken and they should be monitored,” Ramirez said Friday.

Last week, Alamo Lumber Co. closed its Raymondville store after two employees tested positive for COVID-19.

On June 11, the store closed until June 25.

Meanwhile, the store’s employees have been quarantined pending a second round of tests while the building undergoes “deep cleaning,” a press release stated.