A Missoula area business today announced via their Facebook site that their restaurant, Paradise Falls, had an employee test positive for COVID-19. The restaurant voluntarily closed upon hearing from the worker and has been cooperating fully with the health department’s investigation. The investigation is moving swiftly and employees who have been identified by the health department as close contacts to the infected co-worker are being interviewed, quarantined, and scheduled for testing.

Because the restaurant chose to be publicly transparent to their patrons, members of the public are, understandably, calling the health department trying to understand if they have been at risk of exposure. In compliance with the requirements for daily symptom checks, the employee did not report to work when feeling ill and neither the employee nor the co-workers who are quarantined will be at work before completing their isolation and quarantine periods at home. But a person who has Covid-19 can be infectious a couple days before they feel any symptoms.

The only dates and times that this employee worked before having symptoms are:

  • Saturday, June 20, from 4pm to 9:30 pm Sunday
  • June 21 from 8am to 10am Monday
  • June 22, from 4pm to 8pm

Based on the nature of the employee’s work and an honest report about inconsistent use of cloth face coverings, it is not possible to ascertain who among any customers may have had an actual exposure to the disease. As a precaution, anyone who was a patron at Paradise Falls during the above time periods should be vigilant for symptoms of Covid-19, seek medical care if they have symptoms, keep a six-foot distance from others, wear a cloth face mask when out in public, and avoid contact with people who are at high risk for COVID-19 complications including the elderly and people with chronic health conditions.

These recommendations apply to everyone during this pandemic, at all times, not just because of this incident. COVID-19 cases are increasing in Missoula.

Members of the public who have questions about this incident or about COVID-19 in general are asked to call the health department information line at 258-INFO which operates 8-5 Monday through Friday. We are also adding an extra shift tomorrow, Saturday, from 10-2.

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