On Wednesday, June 24, Wilson Creek Winery in Temecula Wine Country announced they were temporarily closing its doors due to two employees testing positive for COVID-19.

The winery said in a statement that it will still be open for curbside wine club and bottle pickups only and the Courtyard Bar and Grill will also remain open for to-go orders for a select few items.

“We have been closely monitoring COVID updates and unfortunately, we have recently learned that two of our own have tested positive for the virus. We are saddened by this, as we have gone above and beyond the recommended protocols to protect the safety of all,” Wilson Creek Winery said in the statement.

“While we cannot divulge the identity, department, or hours of the infected individuals, we can tell you, there is no proof that the virus was contracted on property.”

Wilson Creek Winery said they are implementing safety protocols and a professional sanitation crew to disinfect the property, according to the statement. They currently do not have a reopening date in place.

The news on Wednesday came after a string of other businesses recently closed their doors as well. Nothing Bundt Cakes in Temecula announced it would be temporarily closed its doors Monday, June 22 due to an employee testing positive for the virus.

“All our bakeries have been following strict health and safety protocols and CDC guidelines including constant cleaning and sanitizing, team members wearing masks and gloves, installing sneeze guards, providing social distancing signage and offering curbside pick-up and delivery,” Tate Parker-Donner, the owner of the Temecula location, said in an email statement.

“We are currently conducting an additional deep clean and are waiting for the results of all employee tests before planning the reopening.”

Before that, 1909 in Old Town Temecula closed for the same reason. 1909 released a statement regarding their closure on Friday, June 19.

“Please know that we are a family-owned business. The last thing we want is to hide anything, that is not like us,” the statement read.

“We know of many businesses that have had employees test positive, but have not closed,” the statement continued. “Legally, we are not obligated to close. According to the health department, as long as the employees or guests that have been in direct contact with our staff member have been notified to quarantine for 14 days, which they have, we could technically resume business.”

1909 continued by stating they aren’t comfortable with resuming until all employees have been tested, and that they will be paying all employees during that time.

“We will not re-open unless all staff working have returned with negative results,” they said.

An update on Saturday, June 20 by 1909 included that after being in communication with the Riverside County Health Department, they have not confirmed that COVID-19 was contracted on the property of 1909, and that they believe guests are at low risk of exposure.

The Shamrock Irish Pub and Eatery in Murrieta released a statement on Saturday, June 20 also announcing its temporary closure due to an employee testing positive for COVID-19. The latest update from the pub and grill on Monday, June 22, indicated that another employee had tested positive for the virus and that they were informed of the news a day earlier.

Shamrock reiterated to the public that they will not be reopening until all employees have been tested and come back negative, however, they have a provisional reopening date of Sunday, July 5.

Other businesses announced their temporary closures as well.

As of Thursday, June 18, Truly Madly Sweetly Bake Shop located off Winchester Road in Temecula temporarily closed its doors, as they also had an employee test positive. In a statement, they assured guests that they also would be testing all staff and deep cleaning.

According to guidelines for businesses provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, if a business believes an employee has COVID-19, it doesn’t mean the business has to close down.

While it says that in most cases businesses shouldn’t have to, the CDC does state to close off any areas that the person came in contact with, in the case of prolonged exposure.

The California Department for Public Health released a document June 16 online to employers regarding responding to COVID-19 in the workplace.

In the guidance statement, CDPH notes that employers may need to contact their local health department on how to respond or manage an outbreak happening in the business and that these needs vary.

The CDC also has guidance for small businesses and businesses, Cal/OSHA provides guidance on following legal requirements for protecting workers, and the California statewide industry-specific guidelines give more information to businesses on reopening and keeping risk low.

For more information on the CDPH’s guidance for responding to COVID-19 in the workplace, visit https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/Workplace-Outbreak-Employer-Guidance.aspx.

Visit the CDPH for COVID-19 county updates https://www.cdph.ca.gov/, or https://www.rivcoph.org/ for updated information on coronavirus statistics in Riverside County.

For general information on the coronavirus (not medical advice), contact the County of Riverside Information Line by dialing 2-1-1.

Lexington Howe can be reached by email at lhowe@reedermedia.com.