Cameron Pollack / Sun File Photo

The Ithaca Commons, August 19th, 2017.

August 23, 2020

Simeon’s American Bistro Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19

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An employee of Simeon’s American Bistro in Downtown Ithaca tested positive for COVID-19, according to a Tompkins County Health Department press release on Saturday evening.

The employee worked four shifts last week from Tuesday to Friday — totaling 27 hours — potentially exposing customers to the coronavirus.

For patrons who dined at Simeon’s — either indoors or outdoors — during any of the employee’s shifts, TCHD recommends getting tested for COVID-19 at Cayuga Health’s testing site located at The Shops at Ithaca Mall. TCHD also advises monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19, such as cough, fever and shortness of breath, for 14 days following potential exposure.

Close contacts of the infected individual have been identified by TCHD and are being monitored in quarantine.

According to Frank Kruppa, Tompkins County public health director, Simeon’s had reopened under New York State’s Phase 4 guidelines, which allow restaurants to operate if employees wear appropriate face coverings, practice hand hygiene and maintain six feet of distance when possible. Indoor and outdoor tables must also be separated by six feet in all directions, and servers should serve in specific zones to minimize overlap.

The bistro is temporarily closed to allow for thorough cleaning of their facilities.

“We have been working closely with the Tompkins County Department of Health on this issue,” a post on the bistro’s Facebook page on Saturday night read. “We want to reassure customers that Simeon’s has been following all NYS and CDC guidelines. We wish everyone to be safe and healthy”

Simeon’s, set in one of Ithaca’s historic buildings, has operated as a restaurant since 1986, offering American fare and seafood dishes. After the pandemic hit in March, the owners of the restaurant, Richard Avery and Dean Zervos, decided to transition to curbside pickup and delivery.

Located on the busy corner of Aurora Street and the Commons, the bistro is a prime dinner spot for families as they move their students back before the start of the semester.

Data from Cayuga Medical Center indicates that, as of 7 p.m. Saturday, there are no active COVID-19 hospitalizations. Testing frequency jumped in recent days — over the past 48 hours, 3,382 individuals were tested for COVID-19, and 4 individuals received a positive result.

Previously reported cases of an infected employee at an Ithaca business have included  Greenstar Cooperative in early July, Mango Mango in late March and Wegmans in early April.