COVID cases climb, Snake River Brewing closes

JACKSON, Wyo. — Snake River Brewing announced a temporary closure of the restaurant and brewpub today after two staff members tested positive for COVID-19.

The closure was not mandated by the Teton County Health Department, according to a press release. Such a mandate would go through the state health officer, and the Health Department did not feel such a recommendation was necessary. Still, Snake River Brewing made the call to close anyway in order to sanitize and deep clean the restaurant.

“The health and safety of our staff and guests is of paramount importance and if further steps seem appropriate to our team or are recommended by Teton County Health, we will continue to take those steps as swiftly as possible,” owner Ted Staryk said in a press release. “We are very grateful for the guidance from Town and County officials with respect to social-distancing recommendations and the increased urgency for everyone to wear masks, and we’re hoping that community adherence to these suggestions will make it easier for everyone in the community to stay safe and healthy.”

Health Department Director Jodie Pond said the Health Department will not name any specific patient or business unless “we thought there was the potential for mass exposure.”

“We’re not just going to call out a specific business if we can do contact tracing,” Pond said.

Snake River Brewing chose to name themselves in this case, but the Health Department did not find risk of mass exposure. Anyone who might have made close contact with Snake River Brewing’s confirmed cases will be contacted by the Health Department if they haven’t already. Even in that outreach, the Health Department is careful to not reveal any identifying information, including who the contact is or where it was made.

“That’s your private, personal health information, we will never disclose that information,” Pond said. “We feel that way about businesses, too. Some businesses have chosen to go ahead and close without us closing them down. Every business gets to make their own decisions.”

The closure includes the kitchen, dining room, and bar. The brewery itself will continue producing packaged beer for the brewery’s distributor partners and for sale in the Jackson community and surrounding areas.

The closure was announced in the midst of a new spike of COVID-19 cases in Teton County. As of June 29, there are 21 active cases in the county. That’s up six from Monday’s count, and 10 since Friday.

Anyone who is showing signs or symptoms should contact their health care provider. If you are uninsured, you can call the Teton County Health Department for a voucher for testing at (307) 733-6401.

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