December 14, 2020
After months being one of the most vulnerable groups throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, essential workers in Philadelphia's restaurant industry are getting their very own COVID-19 testing site.
The Goat, a Rittenhouse restaurant located at 1907 Sansom St., will become the restaurant worker-specific site while the restaurant itself is temporarily closed because of the pandemic, EaterPhilly reported Monday.
Starting in January 2021, workers will be able to get tested for coronavirus there every Thursday between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., with additional testing days expected to be added in the future.
All testing at the site will be free of charge.
Any hospitality worker in the Philly area will be able to get tested regardless of insurance. The tests will be PCR nasal swabs and at least 75 will be available each day.
Nicole Marquis, the founder of the Save Philly Restaurants Coalition and restaurant HipCityVeg, told Eater on Monday that the restaurant coalition received funding for the new COVID-19 testing site at The Goat through the federal CARES act.
"After asking, begging and pleading for free rapid testing from our city, state, and federal government for our employees throughout the pandemic, Save Philly Restaurants has secured free weekly testing for all employees of the Philadelphia restaurant industry through our own research and legwork," Marquis said.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Save Philly Restaurants has been an advocate for Philly's restaurants and the industry's workers, including starting this petition, asking elected officials to help the restaurant industry, that has been signed by more 7,000 people. It's backed by about 50 restaurant owners who represent more than 200 businesses in Philly.
The Goat temporarily closed due to the challenges of operating under the COVID-19 restrictions implemented earlier this year, a messaged posted to their social media said. It's large size and various entrance points make it a good location for the testing site.