St. Pete tavern owner preparing to reopen after employees test positive for coronavirus

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A professional cleaning crew sprayed down a St. Petersburg tavern on Wednesday after employees tested positive for COVID-19.

The owner of The Galley is preparing to reopen after voluntarily closing due to the positive cases.

“We are people over profit,” Galley owner Pete Boland told 8 On Your Side earlier this week.

He made the decision to close out of an abundance of caution.

“We immediately told them not to come into work, go see a doctor, go get a test and those tests started coming in Thursday and Friday,” Boland said.

Boland said his biggest challenge has been getting his employees tested. He hopes to reopen this weekend.

“I thought Wednesday would be a good day. I thought we’d be in pretty good shape as far as getting results but with the shortage of testing, and they’re saying two to seven days on return results, so it’s kind of pushed things back a little bit but we’re doing what we got to do, and we’re ok with that,” he said.

The Galley was one of three bars in Downtown St. Petersburg that closed temporarily last week after some of their employees tested positive for Coronavirus. Parks and Rec DTSP and the Avenue Eat + Drink also closed.

Since then, several more restaurants have shut down due to coronavirus concerns.

Mayor Rick Kriseman on Wednesday mandated that all employees at businesses in the city wear a mask. The mandate goes into effect Friday at 5 p.m.