HAMMOND, La. —
Several Hammond area restaurants have reportedly closed either for sanitation or due to possible exposure to the coronavirus.
At least seven popular locations announced closings on social media in recent days. Those businesses include La Carreta (Hammond and Ponchatoula), Salty Joe’s Restaurant, Cate Street Seafood Station, Jeanie’s, Kirin Sushi Restaurant, and Brady’s Restaurant.
In a Facebook status posted on Father’s Day, Kirin Sushi Restaurant said one staff member tested positive for COVID-19 and the location would be closed at least through Monday as crews work to sanitize the building.
Cate Street Seafood Station, La Carreta Ponchatoula and Jeanie’s also confirmed that at least one employee had also tested positive for the disease.
The closures come just days after the Louisiana Department of Health identified two clusters of the virus in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. New Orleans health leaders say new cases of the coronavirus disease were contracted at a large high school graduation part and a large gathering outside bars at Tigerland in Baton Rouge.
"These activities can fuel a rapid rise in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths," the statement from New Orleans officials said. "This is why there are strict gathering size and capacity limitations for planned events in the State of Louisiana and Orleans Parish."
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards is expected to announce whether the state will advance into Phase 3 reopening Monday, but a rising number of new cases in recent weeks could delay any further reopening.