Rivers Street Ale House employees test positive for COVID-19


Mickey Hutchings

Located next to the Student Recreation Center on Rivers Street, Rivers Street Ale House is temporarily closed after a local spike in COVID-19 cases.

Emily Broyles, Reporter

Five employees of Rivers Street Ale House have tested positive for COVID-19, according to a press release from AppHealthCare. Employees are in isolation and recovering at home.

AppHealthCare is encouraging people that visited the restaurant and bar between Aug. 4 and Aug. 13 to monitor COVID-19 symptoms and be tested. Symptoms can appear two to 14 days after initially being exposed to the virus.

“It is important for the community to know that we are making this public announcement for the reason of narrowing our efforts to identify those at risk,” said Jennifer Greene, AppHealthCare health director. “Rivers Street Ale House is not named due to any action or inaction on their part or identified ongoing public health risk with frequenting their establishment. We appreciate their ongoing partnership in this response effort.”

Since the cases, Rivers Street Ale House has decided to close. Owners Jeff Lamont and Justin Davis said they had managed to “dodge the COVID bullet,” until recently.

Lamont and Davis said Rivers Street Ale House has taken extensive measures to prevent COVID-19:

  • free masks available to customers that may not have one
  • bouncers monitoring social distancing and 50% capacity
  • “constant cleaning and sterilization”
  • Count On Me NC training
  • digital menus and socially distanced tables available to patrons
  • expanded outdoor seating
  • mask/hygiene reminders throughout the establishment
  • requirement for staff to wear masks and gloves at all times

“We look forward to working with the Health Department to re-open in as safe a fashion as possible. We greatly appreciate your support during these crazy times. We have always and will continue to do all we can to keep our staff, customers and the High Country community safe,” Lamont and Davis said in a statement.


Rivers Street Ale House reopened Aug. 19 for take out only, four days after it’s initial announcement of the positive cases. The restaurant said it’s “gone through all of the proper guidance.”

“Your support and concern has been overwhelming. Our staff is doing great,” the restaurant said in an Instagram post. “We can assure you we have taken every precaution…We cannot wait to see you!”

Protect yourself with these preventative measures:

  • Frequent hand washing
  • Staying home when you’re sick
  • Keeping distance from others who are sick
  • Avoiding touching your face
  • Cleaning and disinfecting high touch surfaces in common areas like doorknobs, remotes, light switches, tables and handles

COVID-19 signs & symptoms:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If you are concerned about symptoms you might be experiencing, contact Student Health Service at (828) 262-3100 or AppHealthCare at (828) 264-4995, ext. 0.