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In addition to our normal news coverage, What Now Atlanta is tracking ways Atlanta’s businesses are adapting to the novel coronavirus and the challenges it brings to brick-and-mortars.
Chick-fil-A Chastain Square has continued to operate even as several employees caught the novel coronavirus, according to a Groupme chat between the location’s employees and Stephen Johnson who oversees the “Buckhead Leadership Experience” for the local franchise group.
One of the restaurant’s employees told What Now Atlanta (WNA) in anonymity that at least three co-workers had caught the virus in the last 30 days.
Franchisee Jerry Goebeler when reached by WNA Tuesday declined to comment on the decision to remain open to the public even as workers fell ill with COVID-19. Goebeler directed WNA to the Chick-fil-A public relations team which has also not responded to a request for comment.
“Our restaurants are locally owned and Operators are following the guidelines of their individual communities when it comes to expanding service offerings,” Chick-fil-A wrote in a press release at the end of May about its “Safe Service” standards.
“This means Chick-fil-A restaurants will open for carry-out and in-restaurant dining on different timelines. It also means individual restaurants may close again if needed.”
Goebeler also owns the Chick-fil-A in Lenox Square and in Terminus.
The state of Georgia does not legally require this Chick-fil-A or any other business to temporarily close down if an employee has tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Disclosing the information to customers and/or the general public is also not mandated by the state or Georgia Department of Health.
Several restaurants are choosing to close voluntarily, however, and are disclosing the situation on social media and in news releases. Ford Fry, for example, has been very vocal about the spread of the virus in Little Rey and closed the restaurant’s doors not once but twice to conduct deep-cleanings and reevaluate its safety measures.
[Editor’s note: The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is rapidly evolving as is its effect on Atlanta, and the City’s businesses and its residents. Click here for What Now Atlanta’s ongoing coverage of the crisis. For guidance and updates on the pandemic, please visit the C.D.C. website.]