PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) –The owner of Pok Pok decided to close his restaurants on Wednesday.

Andy Ricker says it’s for the safety of his workers after a friend of his passed away on Tuesday from COVID-19. He says there’s just no way to keep restaurant workers entirely safe right now, even while they’re doing take-out and delivery.

In an Instagram post on Wednesday, Ricker talked about his good friend and well-known New York chef Floyd Cardoz, who passed away after testing positive for coronavirus.

Ricker says his death should be a wake up call to the restaurant community and shows that we are all vulnerable. He says his restaurants have followed all of the protocol, but they’re simply not trained to keep a workspace protected from a deadly virus.

“it just became apparent that our workers are better off at home and the sooner that we lay them off, the faster they’re going to be able to apply for unemployment, and if the government delivers what they say they’re going to deliver, they’ll be able to collect a reasonable enough money to make it through this crisis, it became a no brainer at that point to just stop,” Ricker said.

Ricker also said that no non-vital business is worth keeping open at the risk of life. He says he hopes others will consider closing, too.

He’s not sure when they might reopen or in what capacity. He says right now, he just wants everyone to stay safe and stay home.

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