As most New Yorkers know by now, last night doctor Craig Spencer, who recently returned from treating Ebola patients in Guinea, tested positive for the disease and is currently being held in quarantine in Bellevue hospital. Now, as the story develops, much of the focus is on what he did on Wednesday, before (it's important to emphasize) he developed any symptoms.
As any tabloid headline will tell you, he went bowling in Brooklyn. Early rumors said he had gone to Brooklyn Bowl, but as it turns out, he was at the popular Greenpoint dive The Gutter, which closed yesterday "as a precaution" and may also be closed today for cleaning. A note on the alley's Facebook page emphasizes: "We've been in constant contact with the health department and they have determined that there was no risk to our customers," which is true. Given that Ebola is only transmitted through bodily fluids, and is unlikely to be transmitted before a patient displays symptoms, the chances of any other Gutter patrons getting the virus are slim to none. Some reports say Spencer also went to Brooklyn Bowl, but it's still open, and according to Questlove, "safe...and clean," so seems likely that those reports are just a result of jumbled early reports.
Earlier in the day, Spencer also walked along the High Line and dined at an outpost of the Meatball Shop nearby. The restaurant has yet to comment on the situation, and there's no word of any closures there. But again, there's an extremely low chance that Spencer could have spread Ebola.
Update: The Gutter will reopen today. The team posted on Facebook:
We voluntarily decided to close The Gutter yesterday evening as a precautionary measure while we gathered more information. We are working with the NYC Health Department to have the bar cleaned and sanitized under their supervision and expect to be open sometime today after that is completed. Doctors advising the Health Department have told us that our staff and customers were at no risk.
So far, the Meatball Shop hasn't updated its website or social media accounts. Eater has reached out for a comment.
Update 2: The Meatball Shop visited by Spencer is the West Village location. It's currently closed but expected to reopen tonight:
Meatball Shop on Greenwich visited by NYC #Ebola pt temporarily closed while health officials assess; expected to reopen at 6pm— Meg Tirrell (@megtirrell) October 24, 2014
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