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Blackthorn Club at Ridges closes after executive chef tests positive for COVID-19

Johnson City Press • Mar 20, 2020 at 1:40 PM

The Blackthorn Club in the Ridges’ executive chef has tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), prompting the clubhouse’s temporary closure, according to a message sent to members.

“For the last 10 years many of you have welcomed me into your homes and I can gratefully call many of you my friends,” Chef James Allen wrote. “For those reasons, I am writing to let you know that I tested positive for the COVID-19 virus late last night.

“I self-quarantined last weekend before showing any symptoms, but out of abundance of caution we have decided to close the clubhouse and all food and beverage operations through Tuesday, March 31.”

Allen apologized for the inconvenience and pledged that the clubhouse would “come back stronger than ever.”

“Even though I haven't been at work since Sunday, March 15, The Food and Drug Administration has stated there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 by food,” he wrote. “I have been in constant contact with the Department of Health. I am monitoring mine and my family's health.

“Please know that my girls, my wife, Sara, and I, are all doing fine. We thank you for the well wishes, thoughts and prayers. We will get through this together as a family and as a community.”

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