Restaurant owner organizing protest against bar closure shuts down business after employee contracts COVID-19 | Coronavirus | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Restaurant owner organizing protest against bar closure shuts down business after employee contracts COVID-19

On Sunday, Allegheny County announced it was shutting down onsite alcohol-consumption at bars and restaurants after a significant spike in COVID-19 cases in the county. This means bars are now closed and restaurants can't serve booze to customers dining in restaurants.

That same day, John Pavlik, owner of Xtra Innings Sports Bar & Grille in West Deer, announced on Facebook that he was organizing a protest against the county's decision and is planning to hold that protest on Thu., July 2 in front of the Allegheny County Courthouse.

"We all have one goal and that is to have the county rethink [their] decision and show them we care," wrote Pavlik on Facebook.

But then, on the evening of Tue., June 30, Xtra Innings posted on Facebook that the restaurant would be closing anyway. This was because an employee there had tested positive for COVID-19 and the bar-restaurant would be closed until all employees test negative for the virus.

"Please know that the safety of our customers and staff Is most important to us. As always thank you for your continued support, and we hope to see you all again soon," the post said.
Pavlik's original post announcing the protest has been shared over 600 times, and he told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that bar and restaurant owners from as far as Erie, and even Ohio and West Virginia, contacted him about coming to the protest. Pavlik did not respond when asked whether he was still planning on attending the protest.
COVID-19 case numbers have been rising rapidly in Allegheny County, with daily case numbers hitting triple digits this week after dropping close to zero before the county entered the green phase.

Allegheny County is experiencing one of the fastest-growing number of cases of any place in the country, and local officials officials have linked the rise to people traveling and returning from out of state, and to people frequently restaurants and bars. The rise in cases started about three weeks after bars and restaurants were initially allowed to reopen as Allegheny County entered green phase of the state coronavirus plan.  

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