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Closed over COVID-19: Skipper's Smokehouse is the latest business to shut its doors

The restaurant and entertainment spot will be closed for the foreseeable future.

TAMPA, Fla. — As cases continue to increase, some local businesses are taking matters into their own hands.

Tampa restaurant and entertainment space, Skipper's Smokehouse, decided to close its doors Saturday after a COVID-19 scare.

Earlier in the morning, management at Skipper's learned that one employee came in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. 

Then, "another employee, their roommate slash boyfriend, was contact traced also last night that they were possibly exposed," said Cricket Larson, the marketing and PR employee for Skipper's Smokehouse.

Neither employee has tested positive for COVID-19, in fact, none of the 40 staff members have, but Skipper's isn't taking any chances. 

"It's very important for us to take a stand and try to protect the citizens, and our patrons, and staff," Larson said.

RELATED: 4,049: New COVID-19 cases in Florida break another single-day record

The restaurant has been closed for the foreseeable future, and it's been a tough financial decision but not health-wise. 

When it comes to a decision about reopening: "We are going to be watching the numbers, and the trends, and how the positive cases are trending for our county," Larson said. "We are also going to be keeping an eye on the economic viability. 

"You know, it's been tough since we reopened. There's no doubt about it."

Even though it's been tough, Larson and her team feels a personal responsibility to the community they have served for nearly 40 years.   

"At this point, it seems like, the only way we are going to make forward progress and mitigate this disease, is for the citizens to actually take action on their own. And to take a stand, and make choices that will help stop the spread," Larson said.

The restaurant did receive a PPP loan and will be able to pay its staff for at least the next two weeks while they are closed.

RELATED: President Trump suggests he urged slowing of coronavirus testing

RELATED: Gov. DeSantis notes there's COVID-19 'spread' among young people as daily case count hits new record

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