By DIEGO JESUS BARTESAGHI MENA
Several Montclair eateries temporarily closed in recent days due to COVID-19 exposures among staff — but some have already reopened.
The Little Daisy Bake Shop, located at 622 Valley Road in Upper Montclair, closed its doors last week immediately after the owner learned one of the shop’s staff developed some symptoms.
“We had to close so we could all quarantine,” Jennifer Snyder, the shop’s owner, said. Staffers starting coming back only after testing negative for coronavirus — which all did — and they’ve been tested again this week, she said.
The shop was thoroughly cleaned, both the kitchen and the store, and the owner took additional precautions such as having her staff wear double masks, wear gloves, and constantly disinfect their work areas.
“We already wore double masks and gloves before the pandemic since we are an allergy-free establishment. But we took the additional precaution just in case,” Snyder said.
The shop will reopen this Saturday just in time for Easter, and will continue allowing a maximum of two guests inside the store, ensuring everyone wears masks and providing sanitizer for costumers’ convenience.
“We follow procedure and make sure the store is as safe as possible,” Snyder said. “It is safe to return.”
Egan & Sons, located at 118 Walnut St., announced on Instagram Tuesday, March 30 it would close down services until Thursday, April 1 due to a coronavirus exposure. It posted Thursday to say it had indeed opened back up.
Brick + Dough, located at 110 Walnut St., also announced on Wednesday on Instagram that one of its employees came into contact with some who tested positive for coronavirus, and also tested positive. In the announcement, the restaurant said all its other employees tested negative, and the employee who tested positive has not been in the restaurant since Sunday.
As a precaution, the restaurant closed its doors Wednesday for a deep cleaning and assured its customers that “health and safety are the number one priority for both our staff and community.” The restaurant reopened on Thursday, April 1 for curbside pickup and outdoor seating.
Starting March 19, New Jersey began allowing bars and restaurants to operate at 50% of their normal indoor capacity, up from a previous 35%.
New daily coronavirus cases have been rising in recent weeks, in Essex County and in New Jersey overall. Essex County’s seven-day average for new cases on April 2 was 410 — up from 265 a month earlier. The state’s seven-day average on April 2 was 3,742, up from 2,737 a month earlier.
From March 26 through April 1, the township registered 87 new cases of coronavirus — about typical for most weeks in March, but up a few dozen cases from most weeks in February. It also reported one new fatality on March 30, bringing the total to 70 since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.