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Bar employees voice concern after manager tests positive for COVID-19

An employee told 13News the bar had been relaxed about social distancing, masks and vigorous sanitizing.

INDIANAPOLIS — Two employees of a Broad Ripple bar are speaking out, saying Landsharks hasn't done enough to keep its employees and patrons safe from coronavirus, especially after the bar's general manager tested positive for COVID-19.

Matt Wilden, who has worked security at Landsharks for nearly two years, told 13News the bar had been lax about social distancing, masks and vigorous sanitizing to prevent the spread of the virus.

"Our owners did not shut down, our owners did not sanitize, or take any precautions and [they] did not do anything to keep the public safe, to keep our customers safe," Wilden said. "We still had to work, and nothing was done about it."

Wilden said on top of that, "I have a NICU baby at home, and I couldn't go home Saturday because I had to wait on test results because I didn't want him to get sick."

A bartender, who did not want to be identified, said it's important that bar patrons know about the manager's test results.  

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"If you know something is wrong, you have to say something. It's not OK anymore," she said. "This is not the cold, it's not the sniffles. It's something that could possibly [lead to] death."

Because of a health condition that makes her high risk, she hasn't worked at the bar since it shut down in March. But she said she remains in close contact with her co-workers and several customers.

"These people are family, and I couldn't live with myself knowing what I know and letting them take the risk," she said.

The general manager confirmed he tested positive for COVID-19 but said he hadn't been at Landsharks in a week and when there, he always wears a mask.

One of the owners, Mark Casey, said when he found out about the positive test result, the manager was put in "immediate quarantine" and the bar "sanitized."

As for being lax on cleaning and keeping the capacity to 50 percent, Casey called the employees' allegations, "absolutely false...we've taken every precaution we can."

Wilden and his colleague say that's not the case, and that's why they feel compelled to speak up, no matter what the consequences.

"Some may lose jobs because of this, but we're doing the right thing, and I'd do it all again in a heartbeat," Wilden said.

His colleague said, "I love this place. This is my heart, my passion, but I cannot let anyone be at risk. I won't." 

A spokesman for the Marion County Health Department said they had received at least one complaint involving Landsharks and would be looking into it.

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