COVID-19 is catching up with Bend restaurant employees, forcing multiple local businesses to temporarily reduce their hours.
30% of staff at Deschutes Brewery in Downtown Bend has tested positive for the virus in the last two weeks.
“Here, like everywhere else, we have had a surge in COVID cases inside our walls,” Melissa Talbott, Deschutes Brewery assistant general manager said. “We’re trying to figure out a way to creatively stay open and employ those who wanted to work throughout these last few days.”
It is all about making do.
For Deschutes Brewery, that means reduced hours, a limited menu, and only part of the restaurant open for seating.
“Those who have tested [positive], we don’t let them come back to work,” Talbott said. “We are following CDC guidelines and whatever their doctors are telling them to do. So most people are out between 5 and 10 days.”
Deschutes Brewery is not alone.
Good Life Brewing on Bend’s west side placed a sign in front of its business stating “due to COVID-19 cases we are closed until Thursday.”
Chow Burger off Galveston Avenue is also having to reduce hours due to in-house COVID cases.
This has led the business to pull employees like Chloe Segovia, assistant general manager, away from sister restaurant Chow.
“I’ve never flipped burgers before, and yesterday I had to do it all day,” Segovia said. “I know that my server is going to be doing it tomorrow, so we’re really taking people from all the different directions to be able to do it.”
Basically, businesses are scrambling.
“I mean you do have to make a lot of phone calls, you do have to find out who can work, who can’t work, and you are asking people to do a lot,” Segovia said. “Especially in a time like this.”
Both restaurants hope to be operating like normal by the end of the week, that is assuming enough staff is back with no symptoms to make it happen.
“We don’t want it to spread,” Talbott said. “We want it to stay outside the four walls and we’re doing our best to make sure that happens.”