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Multiple Charlotte bars forced to temporarily close due to positive COVID-19 cases

Other businesses like Sidelines Sports Bar are now stepping up COVID-19 precautions to stay safe and stay open.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In a matter of just a few days, four different Charlotte bars announced employees had tested positive for the coronavirus. As a result, the bars plan to shut their doors temporarily in order to test other employees and thoroughly sanitize the buildings.

Those bars include Gin Mill on South Tryon, Workman’s Friend on Central Avenue, Old Mecklenburg Brewery on Yancey Road, and Thomas Street Tavern on Thomas Avenue. 

Common Market also announced it would temporarily close its South End location after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19, but plans to reopen on Tuesday after proper sanitizing and testing. The employee involved in that case had not been in the building since last Wednesday. 

Other businesses like Sidelines Sports Bar are now using these incidents as a cautious warning to continue taking the necessary precautions to keep their employees and customers safe.

“The staff all wears masks,” Sidelines Bar co-owner Kevin Cooper said. “When people come inside to get their drinks, they wear masks.”

He added they also offer access to hand sanitizer for everyone and after each guest leaves employees will clean the outdoor tables thoroughly.

“Customers are coming, they’re seeing us just with lot smaller groups than what we normally have,” Cooper said.

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With a smaller crowd that also means less income, but Cooper said everyone is trying to make the most of a tough situation.

“Everybody is a little tight on money right now,” Cooper said. “They’re not working as much as they would normally and when they are working they aren’t making as much as they usually would.”

But the safety precautions Sidelines Bar takes hasn't necessarily been the case everywhere. WCNC Charlotte has reported on numerous restaurants and bars that have been cited after videos posted online show large crowds, with no masks and no social distancing

RELATED: ‘The bars are not being quite as compliant’ | Mecklenburg County health officials, CMPD addressing COVID-19 violations

“My feeling is this is no good unless you penalize the people who don’t follow the rules,” Sidelines Bar co-owner John Sinclair said.