The owners of Home Slice Pizza are realizing how difficult it can be for a restaurant to responsibly manage an effective response to the coronavirus pandemic. They’re closing one restaurant today temporarily on the same day that they’re reopening another.


Home Slice Pizza today temporarily closed its South Congress Avenue after learning two employees tested positive for the coronavirus. Restaurant management learned over the weekend about the positive tests and said that neither employee had been in the restaurant for about a week before that time, giving management reason to believe there has not been spread in the restaurant.


The temporary shutter of the South Congress locations, which is expected to last until Monday, comes on the same day that the popular pizza restaurant is reopening its North Loop location, which had been closed since last Tuesday following an employee there testing positive.


After learning of the positive test at the North Loop location, management closed the restaurant while every employee was tested. It reopens today with a staff that has all tested negative for the coronavirus and that will be subjected to temperature checks before entering the restaurant.


Additionally, Home Slice says they have deep cleaned and sanitized the North Loop location during the closure and will continue to strictly enforce hand sanitation practices and require employees to wear face coverings and gloves. Those same standards will be applied to the South Congress Avenue location before it reopens. All North Loop employees were paid for missed shifts due to the forced closure, and all South Congress employees will also be paid for any shifts missed during the temporary closure.


"We will use this time to reset and develop protocols that will help us continue operations uninterrupted during this unprecedented time, streamline internal communications, and frankly, to take a breath," Home Slice Pizza owners said in an emailed statement. "We have created a safe place for our customers and staff alike, and as always, it is our intention to continue to lead with safety as our highest priority."


Both locations have been operating as contactless takeout-only operations since dining rooms were shuttered on March 17, and neither has set a timeline for reopening their dining rooms.


RELATED


Stories of historic Austin restaurant closures: Shady Grove | Magnolia Cafe | Threadgill’s | Enchiladas Y Mas


Which Austin restaurants are serving takeout and which have closed


15 great ideas for takeout from some unexpected places in Austin