As fears about COVID-19 rise locally, it brings up so many questions. Among them: What do our daily lives look like if Coronavirus spreads here at home?
While there are five known cases of Coronavirus locally—four in Harris County, one in Fort Bend County—some establishments are getting in front of that question just a little. On Friday, popular neighborhood vermicelli chain Jenni's Noodle House announced that anyone coughing or sneezing in any of their locations will get tossed out.
"Protecting our staff and customers is our top priority right now," reads a notice posted to social media. "Due to the Coronavirus here in Houston, customers who appear to be sick and/or coughing/sneezing will be asked to leave. The staff has clear instructions to handle situations during these uncharted times. Your understanding is greatly appreciated while we all try to steer clear."
The notice also says that Jenni's "may transition to take-out and delivery only."
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COVID-19 TIMES Thank you for your love of noodles and supporting the noodlehood! You have come to know, I have always taken pride in providing fresh and healthy options in a clean environment. Protecting our staff and customers is our top priority right now. Due to the Coronavirus here in Houston, customers who appear to be sick and/or coughing/ sneezing will be asked to leave. The staff has clear instructions to handle situations during these uncharted times .Your understanding is greatly appreciated while we all try to steer clear. Follow us on social media: @noodlesrule as we may transition to take out and delivery only. — jenni —
This so far represents the most aggressive response to COVID-19 fears by a local eating or drinking establishment. Response on Facebook has been largely negative to Jenni's, with some customers saying they won't return to the restaurant.
Houstonia has reached out to Jenni's for comment on the notice and will update if we receive more information.
Considering the City of Austin just canceled the annual SXSW festival amid Coronavirus fears, we're in the middle of some unprecedented times in regards to modern virus control. It'll be interesting to see how other Houston-area eateries react, especially if the virus spreads further around the region.