Manco & Manco, the adored Jersey Shore pizza staple, has temporarily shut down its locations on the Ocean City, New Jersey, boardwalk after three employees tested positive for COVID-19.
When the shops reopen, the stores will no longer sell slices to limit human contact with food.
The employees tested positive in the past week and two of them are asymptomatic, the pizza maker said in a statement on their Facebook page overnight Tuesday.
Manco & Manco operates three shops on the Ocean City boardwalk at 8th, 9th and 12th streets. The statement did not say at which shops the employees worked.
All three locations are being professionally cleaned and the owners are working with the Cape May County Health Department.
New Jersey was one of the hardest-hit states when the novel coronavirus pandemic spread to the United States, but the infection rate has declined in recent months allowing parts of the state to reopen from shutdowns. Infections across New Jersey topped 175,000 this week with more than 13,600 deaths.
Manco & Manco said the employees are quarantining for 14 days – following public health guidance.
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The chain's Somers Point location was not affected and remains operational, the owners said.
The pizza maker initially planned to reopen the boardwalk locations on Wednesday with enhanced safety procedures. They included requiring employees to wear masks at all times, frequent cleaning of work spaces, daily temperature checks for staff and using a UV-C light to disinfect high touch areas.
Early Tuesday evening however, the pizza maker announced they will require mandatory testing for their employees and all boardwalk restaurants will remain closed until test results are received on Saturday.
Perhaps the most impactful change will come in the temporary halting of pizza slice sales. The shop will only sell full pizzas to "limit employee-food contact," the shop said.
"We want the public as well as our customers to be able to make an educated decision and have all the facts before ordering your favorite pizza," the statement read.
"The safety of our staff and our loyal customers is paramount."