PLATTSBURGH — Bobby's Lounge will be closed until Saturday, Nov. 28 following a COVID-19 exposure that potentially put dozens in quarantine.
"The part that I feel bad about is people — good customers and they’re good friends — if they don’t feel good, they should not come out, and this crippled my business," owner and Clinton County Legislator Bobby Hall (D-Area 10) told The Press-Republican Friday.
Hall said he found out Monday that a patron who had COVID-19 was at the South Catherine Street bar Friday, Nov. 13, the same night that a 10 p.m. curfew for New York State's bars and restaurants went into effect.
Cameras helped in the identification of those in attendance so the Clinton County Health Department could notify them to quarantine for 14 days.
"It was actually my whole clientele. It was a Friday night — the worst night of the week for that to happen," Hall said.
"We were at maximum capacity. We could have 37 people and we had about 28 in there."
Hall believed all those patrons had been tested by Friday, and noted that his bartenders and manager had been as well.
The irony was not lost on Hall that, following his comments last week saying the state's curfew was unfair and that Plattsburgh bars had not contributed to the recent rise in cases, an exposure happened at his business.
He still described the measure as "a killer" financially, and said the night of Nov. 13 was a good example given how busy it was.
The bar remained open Friday while Hall awaited a call from CCHD on whether or not his bartenders should also quarantine. That call did ultimately come.
"I have a very limited staff, so if they can’t tend bar, I have to close up."
Hall does not believe the patron knew they had COVID-19. He stressed that everyone has to be careful and responsible for themselves, noting how he has not been going to the bar due to his and his wife's ages and her health problems.
"This is a bad, bad disease, and it’s got to be taken care of. We’ve got to be careful until we get the vaccine.
"If you don’t feel good and if you’ve got a cold or a cough, you definitely should not go out."
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