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Local restaurants temporarily closed as staff get vaccinated

Published: Apr. 25, 2021 at 4:04 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Staff at a number of local Mexican restaurants are getting their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine today — and the owner is temporarily closing the businesses in case they experience any side effects.

Employees at Carlos Poco Loco, Carlos Que Pasa, and Cocina de Carlos will receive their second dose at St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church Sunday afternoon. The closed-pod vaccinations were organized by the restaurants’ owner, Carlos Mendez, in an effort to build team spirit and assure a safe environment for both his staff and customers.

The restaurants closed early on Sunday and will be closed entirely on Monday just in case the staff experiences any side effects from the shots.

“We are grateful to St. Peter & Paul and the volunteers to allow us this opportunity,” Mendez said in a statement to 13abc.

Mendez said he is encouraging all bar and restaurant owners and their employees to get vaccinated.

Carlos Poco Loco, Carlos Que Pasa, and Cocina de Carlos closed early on Sunday and will be...
Carlos Poco Loco, Carlos Que Pasa, and Cocina de Carlos closed early on Sunday and will be closed entirely on Monday just in case the staff experiences any side effects from their shots.(WTVG)

“It’s important because we believe in the vaccine, so we can stay protected for us, for our families, and for our customers.”

Mendez believes the Latino community is poorly informed about the vaccine and many people are afraid to get it. He hopes that having his staff receive the vaccine can set an example to encourage the Hispanic population to get vaccinated.

Dr. Richard Paat with the University of Toledo’s College of Medicine explains the Latino population is testing positive for COVID and dying at a higher rate than other ethnicities. He says research shows lack of health care resources, misinformation, and other factors contribute to increases in COVID infection and deaths.

“This is a community that’s been very hard hit with COVID, we did studies before and about 30 percent of this community has tested positive for COVID antibodies,” said Paat.

Paat and staff with UT’s Community Care Clinic vaccinated over 200 people in less than 12 hours Sunday. The medical team held a clinic inside Saint Peter and Paul Church, a spot Paat says lies in the middle of a neighborhood feeling the effects of the pandemic.

“Father Malina, the pastor here at this church, when we asked him if we can come and help out their community he said yes, he was doing 3 or 4 funerals a week in people who were COVID positive.”

Staff with Sunday’s clinic explain they will continue to bring vaccination clinics to minority communities.

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