Union Square Hospitality Group is shutting down its two-Michelin-starred Midtown restaurant the Modern tonight after learning that Rick Cotton — the executive director of the Port Authority who tested positive for the new coronavirus — dined at the restaurant last week, a spokesperson tells Eater.
The Modern, located inside the Museum of Modern Art, scrapped dinner service in order to bring in a third-party service to thoroughly sanitize the restaurant, the spokesperson says. The restaurant intends to re-open for lunch service tomorrow.
The move was done “out of an abundance of caution,” according to the company, as Cotton dined with the restaurant five days ago, on Thursday, March 6. The New York State’s health commissioner, Dr. Howard Zucker, told the New York Times today that the earliest possible date of Cotton’s exposure to the new coronavirus would have been on Friday, March 7.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed on Twitter that the total number of new coronavirus cases identified in the city has risen to 20 as of Monday evening. Across the United States, the total confirmed cases of new coronavirus has risen to 666, according to the Times. In total, 26 people in the country have died from the virus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s current guidelines state that the immediate risk for contracting the new coronavirus is low.
Today we learned that a guest who joined us last week at The Modern tested positive for COVID-19. NYS Health Commissioner says no risk of transmission; we’ve nonetheless chosen to close & sanitize every inch. Reopening tomorrow. Team & guests come first. https://t.co/vn2rZzLJHi— Danny Meyer (@dhmeyer) March 9, 2020