St. Elmo Steakhouse has survived World War II and the Spanish flu and will survive COVID-1

9, according to Huse culinary president, Craig Huse.

Indianapolis Stars

Government officials are inquiring about the deaths of a St Elmo Steakhouse worker amid a COVID-19 outbreak at a restaurant.

The restaurant returned to service on Monday after several employees posed a positive coronavirus infection. Still, many workers opted to quarantine rather than undergo a necessary test that hinders the strength of some of the state’s most famous restaurants.

St. Elmo was shut down after nine employees of a restaurant in downtown Indianapolis tested positive for the coronavirus, Huse Culinary chairman Craig Huse confirmed in a statement late Saturday.

Indiana’s Office of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration said it was monitoring workplace fatalities at St.Elmo.

“We have received a report of workplace deaths and IOSHA has contacted for more information,” said Stephanie McFarland, an IOSHA spokesman.

Employers are required to report the deaths at work within eight hours of the incident, McFarland said.

Current and former employees said longtime bartender Michael Gaines died on Saturday after being tested for the virus about a week ago.

over: St. Elmo Chalong ‘At the end of the tunnel’, then it was shut down due to COVID-19.

St. Elmo would not confirm whether Gaines was one of the nine cases cited on Saturday.

“To respect and protect the privacy of the nine employees who tested positive, we will not identify any of these individuals,” Huse said in a prepared statement on Monday.

A 2018 Twitter post by the restaurant stated that Gaines was an employee for more than 13 years at the time.

Gaines typically works in upstairs lounges, said current and former employees.

The restaurant reopened around 6:30 p.m. Monday, according to a Huse Culinary spokeswoman, no reservations and limited staff available to guests on a first-come, first-served basis, about 90 minutes before the wait time.

Earlier in the day, the Marion County Department of Public Health said it was advising on cleaning and safety measures for the new opening, including negative COVID-19 testing, for all employees before they re-enter work.

We have worked with St. Elmo to monitor risks to employees and customers.

“At this time, a contact tracking investigation involving St. Elmo Steak House officials has not identified a potential risk to customers in accordance with CDC guidelines for 15-minute disclosure of a mask,” the department said.

It was unclear how and when the employee’s cases leading to the closure were diagnosed and when restaurant staff were notified of the results.

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The health department said St. Elmo on Saturday said the restaurant was voluntarily closed because several workers tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

Current and former employees, who spoke with IndyStar on condition not to use their names, said the restaurant closed around 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

Management on Saturday informed workers that Gaines had died, one employee said.

“Our management knows he is sick and has been tested,” the employee said.

Gaines sent a message to a colleague last week that he tested positive for COVID-19, they said.

“Most of us are really close and whenever something happens we get in touch,” they said. “We all wear masks. We clean up, we follow hygiene regulations, but (they) don’t make quick contact as soon as we know it. ”

Elmo aims to return to the administration on Sunday night, sending employees a notice via internal systems, saying the Marion County Health Department has approved the reopening based on staffing capacity. Safe place

Team members can access the test at 3838 N. Crara St., Huse Culinary, vice president of operations Jason Benish, in internal communications. To work, employees are required to undergo a negative COVID test, be vaccinated or quarantined for 10 days after shutdown.

Those who pass the test are paid 12 hours’ compensation

But most servers opt to quarantine instead of testing, making it difficult for restaurants to have enough staff on Monday.

They estimate that 35 servers of 12 to 15 restaurants – including those tested positive for COVID-19 – are currently being quarantined.

“I know a lot of people who do not return to work because they are uncomfortable working today,” said one St. Elmo employee.

Workers also expressed concerns about exposure to tournament crowds, often including out-of-town visitors who could tolerate wearing masks while in restaurants.

This story will be updated.

Contact IndyStar journalist Cheryl V. Jackson at or 317-444-6264.Follow her on Twitter: @cherylvjackson.

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