Pure Taqueria Woodstock Comes Clean About Hiding COVID-19 Cases From Staff, Public

Owner Steve Wright writes, 'While I wish I could say that nobody has tested positive and/or that our communication and response was completely effective, two of our team-members did recently test positive and our response regarding the matter was not as clear as it should have been.'
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Pure Taqueria Woodstock Owner Steve Wright late-Sunday took to Facebook to address rumors that the restaurant kept operating while its employees fell ill with COVID-19 and did not disclose the information to its team or the public.

“News has been circulating that employees at Pure Woodstock have tested positive for COVID-19 and that our team has been asked not to tell anyone,” Wright wrote in the social media post. “Many have reached out to confirm whether or not this is true. While I wish I could say that nobody has tested positive and/or that our communication and response was completely effective, two of our team-members did recently test positive and our response regarding the matter was not as clear as it should have been.”

Georgia law does not require Pure to notify the public that its workers have caught the novel coronavirus, nor does it mandate that the restaurant close its doors to clean or reassess how it’s operating.

“We did tell our team that while we could not disclose the names of the two employees who tested positive to them due to privacy laws, two of their co-workers had tested positive,” Wright said. “We let the team know that any employee who was concerned or uncomfortable with the news did not have to work and would have access to a rapid test paid for by Pure Woodstock.”

Pure on Monday voluntarily closed its doors to have the restaurant “professionally cleaned and sanitized and to determine our next steps.” A reopening timeline has not yet been determined.

Pure Woodstock is the second-known location of the chain to close after an employee contracted COVID-19. Pure Brookhaven voluntarily closed its doors earlier this week, but in contrast to Woodstock, it was very transparent with its team and customers about the situation. The resatruant has since reopened.

Read Wright’s response in its entirety below:

To our PURE Woodstock Community & Friends:

As you well know, we have all been dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Our passion and focus while typically on tacos and margaritas has shifted a bit and this is all new to us. Like all of our leaders, we are doing our best to learn as we go. There have been many agonizing decisions with far-reaching effects that we’ve had to make along the way. News has been circulating that employees at Pure Woodstock have tested positive for COVID-19 and that our team has been asked not to tell anyone. Many have reached out to confirm whether or not this is true. While I wish I could say that nobody has tested positive and/or that our communication and response was completely effective, two of our team-members did recently test positive and our response regarding the matter was not as clear as it should have been. We did tell our team that while we could not disclose the names of the two employees who tested positive to them due to privacy laws, two of their co-workers had tested positive. We let the team know that any employee who was concerned or uncomfortable with the news did not have to work and would have access to a rapid test paid for by PURE Woodstock. Despite these measures, our response to our team and to the community clearly could have been better.I want you to know that Pure Woodstock sincerely values the health and safety of our staff and patrons. We have and will continue to follow guidance from local, state, and other government agencies. Our COVID-19 precautions include pre-shift temperature & symptom checks, mandatory mask and glove-wearing, company-funded COVID testing, and compliance with the CDC return to work guidelines in addition to a mandatory negative test for any employee who tests positive. While we are not perfect, we will continue to improve and work diligently to provide a healthy environment for everyone during these difficult times. Out of an abundance of caution, we will be closed Monday, June 29 in order to have the restaurant professionally cleaned and sanitized and to determine our next steps.

Sincerely, Steve Wright


[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.]

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Sondi L Henry
11 days ago

Crap like this is exactly the reason why the government needs to be direct and concise on what the establishments must due under this pandemic. Close, Clean, Advise…..We don’t really know how COVID 19 is spread and we don’t have a cure or a vaccine as we all know. This is deadly and not to be toyed with as some peoples actions show they are doing….playing with other lives. I don’t know what else to say.

I.P.30307since1987!
11 days ago
Reply to  Sondi L Henry

Our government has sent nothing but mixed messages throughout this whole pandemic. And the political aspect of wearing a mask is absolutely embarrassing.   Do you also think that Kroger, and Target, etc should also Close, Clean, Advise every time one of their employees tests positive for C-19?   I came of age during the AIDS crisis, and instead of relying on what someone said, I just assumed everybody was possibly HIV+. Obviously, HIV, and C-19 are transmitted differently, but I just assume that it’s possible that everybody I encounter is C-19+. And I don’t mean in a paranoid kinda… Read more »

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