Employee concerned after Cheesecake Factory coworker tests positive for COVID-19

Coronavirus Updates

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – The Salt Lake County Health Department has confirmed an employee at the downtown Cheesecake Factory restaurant has tested positive for COVID-19. 

On Wednesday, ABC4 News spoke to another employee who requested anonymity because of fear of retribution from management.

The woman says her manager at the Cheesecake Factory location at City Creek Center downplayed the situation after another employee tested positive for COVID-19.

“It all connected the next day that this is someone that I work with directly,” she told ABC4 on a video call. “I was definitely exposed.”

She says that she got tested and is waiting for those results. In the meantime, she says the restaurant remains open, staffed by some people who haven’t even been told about the confirmed case.

“If he’s having us come in and not telling us we were exposed, we’re now exposing ourselves to the guests that are coming into the restaurant which isn’t a safe environment for that restaurant and those guests,” she said.

She feels compelled to speak out about the situation even though it could mean getting fired.

“I want to tell this story because it’s not a safe environment for us to be there,” she said. “For one, he didn’t tell us that we were exposed when we very much were. He kind of hid that when that’s a health risk to not only ourselves but our families because we do have families that we go home to and now knowing we are exposed, can let other people know when earlier we weren’t. We were thinking we were fine.”

The Salt Lake County Health Department has not identified any close contacts to that positive case and says there are 50 food establishments in the county with at least one confirmed case. 

The Cheesecake Factory issued the following statement issued to ABC4 on Thursday:

“The health and well-being of our staff members and guests are our highest priority.  As soon as we were notified that an individual who had tested positive had been in the restaurant, we immediately called all our staff members to inform them.  Additionally, anyone who had been in close contact with the individual was asked to self-quarantine. The restaurant is cleaned throughout the day, and we also had an outside company conduct an additional deep cleaning of the restaurant.”

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Emily Florez
Rick Aaron, has more than 24 years of experience in television news as an anchor, reporter and producer. Originally from Mississippi, Rick graduated with honors from UCLA with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies and began working at KTTV Fox 11 in Los Angeles.

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