Groton Restaurants Impacted by Rising COVID-19 Numbers

Paul’s Pasta Shop in Groton is taking a step back as COVID case numbers increase in the state and region. The restaurant will not be offering indoor dining for the time being.

“Which is the hardest thing to do because this is our bread-and-butter season,” said Paul Fidrych, owner of Paul’s Pasta Shop. “This is when you make your money to get through the winter.”

Fidrych said that his employees are contending with a small Covid-19 outbreak of their own, which is creating a staffing challenge. That, coupled with the statewide spike in cases, caused Fidrych to make the decision.

“We are still letting people come in to buy things. They are still able to come into the building to buy pasta, gift certificates and takeout food. I hope it keeps people safe in general,” said Fidrych.

Paul’s Pasta Shop will reassess after Christmas. They hope to offer indoor dining again in about two weeks, depending on the situation.

Another restaurant in the area, Groton Pizza Palace, is also contending with coronavirus challenges.

Groton Pizza Palace is closed this week while 75% of staff are sidelined by COVID or contact tracing.

Owner Jim Lampos said when two employees tested positive for the virus, he had his entire staff tested. Several more people tested positive for the virus, despite being vaccinated and wearing masks at work, Lampos said.

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“It’s a pretty big hit, but not much we can do about it,” said Lampos. “It’s better to err on the side of caution, I think.”

In addition to restaurants, Ledge Light Health District reports that COVID cases in the New London region are being traced to schools and day cares.

“We are seeing day cares having to close for a period of time, learning disrupted for children,” said Kris Magnussen, a public health nurse for Ledge Light Health District. “People’s livelihoods are at stake when that happens.”

LLHD is urging people, again, to get vaccinated and boosted, if eligible. They also stress the importance of masking up.

Doctors at Lawrence and Memorial Hospital have the same message. Their COVID patient load hasn’t been this high since the beginning of the year.

“Most of the patients are unvaccinated or they are due for their boosters so one of the big things we are trying to get out there is boosters make a difference,” said Dr. Oliver Mayorga.

Lampos said that at the Pizza Palace, he is the only one on his team who received a booster shot so far. He tested negative for the virus.

“I would definitely encourage people to get the booster,” said Lampos.