Hula Hut, the popular lakefront restaurant in on Lake Austin, closed its restaurant on Monday after an employee was diagnosed with COVID-19.


General manager Elias Chocalas says the restaurant sanitized everything in the building before reopening on Tuesday and Wednesday, but Wednesday night, a second employee tested positive. The restaurant is closed again.


He says that neither employee had been in the restaurant since the week before the first received a positive diagnosis.


On Tuesday and Wednesday, Chocalas says, they told employees who came into work that a staffer had been diagnosed and that the restaurant had been sanitized, and they could choose to work or not.


Chocalas says that all the employees who were scheduled to work on those days chose to work their shift, he says. They are trying to find a clinic that will test all of their employees, even without symptoms.


Both of the employees who tested positive had not been in the building since May 25 and 26, Chocalas says, because they hadn’t been feeling well.


The restaurant pulled down its social media channels on Wednesday night after it was inundated with comments about the COVID-19 diagnoses. By midday Thursday the social channels were re-opened with a statement about the staffers’ illness. This was the first public comment the restaurant had made about the positive tests.


Chocalas says the restaurant, which offered takeout for one week but was closed for most of the shutdown, will be closed until at least early next week for more cleaning.


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