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Columbia Restaurants requiring staff to wear masks again

The Columbia Restaurant in St. Augustine
The Columbia Restaurant in St. Augustine (Special to WJXT)

The Columbia Restaurant in St. Augustine’s historic district and the other locations in Florida will be requiring staff to wear masks while working again, beginning Tuesday.

Columbia Restaurant Group President and CEO Richard Gonzmart made the announcement this week in a Facebook post.

“As we did after mandated quarantine ended in May 2020, the Columbia Restaurant Group will require our staff to wear masks while working beginning again today, July 20,” the post reads, in part. “We are choosing to be proactive for everyone’s health without waiting for a directive from the CDC.”

The announcement comes amid a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Florida and around the country. The Associated Press reported one statistic released by the White House estimated that 20% of new cases last week occurred in Florida.

In the social media post, Gonzmart explained that he and his wife recently tested positive for COVID-19 even though they both got the vaccine.

“We both recovered over 10 days following receiving antibodies infusion treatment,” he said.

Gonzmart still encouraged people to get vaccinated.

A message from Columbia Restaurant Group President and CEO Richard Gonzmart: “With COVID Delta variant infection rates...

Posted by Columbia Restaurant Group on Tuesday, July 20, 2021

The original Columbia Restaurant is located in Ybor City in Tampa, but there are also locations in Sarasota, Clearwater and Celebration in addition to the one in St. Augustine.