Restaurant group head says thanks to Covid-19 test staff
The overworked team at the island’s main coronavirus testing lab got a break after a restaurant chain owner donated meals to staff.
Carika Weldon, the head of the Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory and her staff were given trays of sushi and fresh vegetables by Philip Barnett, the president of Island Restaurant Group.
Mr Barnett said: “Dr Carika Weldon was really happy – she said that for us to think of them that way was fantastic and that she was most pleased.
“The other staff thought the food was absolutely delicious.”
Mr Barnett owns Brew, a coffee shop on Hamilton’s Front Street which was forced to close on Monday after a staff member tested positive for Covid-19.
He explained that the café had planned to have a staff party that night with sushi and other fresh foods, but it was cancelled after the positive result was revealed.
Mr Barnett added that, instead of letting the food go to waste, he wanted to donate it to a good cause.
He said: “We thought ‘how can we take care of some other people?’
“Considering the incredible amount of tests that the molecular diagnostic lab has been doing, I reached out to Dr Carika Weldon, asked her if we could donate this food and she instantly came back and said ‘absolutely, we’re working double shifts and not having to go out for a meal would be a huge help’.”
Mr Barnett emphasised that he made sure to stick to health regulations precautions while he delivered the treats on Monday to the Warwick lab.
Brew and its sister operation, the Pickled Onion, located above Brew, reopened on Thursday after the other 43 staff members tested clear for the coronavirus.