LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - Within two hours of learning one of her employees tested positive for the coronavirus, the owner of the Game Sports Bar and Grill said she was able to test everyone on staff.
"We have 140 employees," Marci Dickerson said. "That's 140 families that depend on these guys being able to go to work."
She told ABC-7 she paid $5,000 to Pathology Consultants of New Mexico for the expedited testing.
"To mobilize somebody on a weekend and to get me the answers as fast as I need as fast as I did, I would have paid twice that much," Dickerson said. "Just for the peace of mind and the safety and security."
After a New Mexico restaurant employee tests positive for the virus, a state spokeswoman confirmed the business must close its doors and sanitize the building thoroughly. Staffers can only return to work after receiving a negative test result.
If she had to close her restaurant down for a week -- instead of two days -- Dickerson estimates she would have lost between $40,000 and $60,000.
"Yes, we are prepared to do this every single time," Dickerson said.
A spokeswoman for Pathology Consultants of New Mexico told ABC-7 that the cost of the expedited testing varies. However, not every restaurant can afford it.
When an employee of Chala's Wood and Fire Grill tested positive for the virus in May, the owner told ABC-7 he closed his doors for eight days.
"It's been a constant up and down, adjust and readjust to try to figure out," Frankie Torres said.
Torres estimates he lost $24,000 in revenue when he was closed in May. However, he said he still paid all of his employees during that time.
If another employee tests positive, Torres said he would like to open more quickly. However, he's not sure if the expedited testing would work within the budget of the restaurant.
"I don't know that I can afford to pay all my staff and pay for the expedited testing," Torres said.
The restaurant owner also discussed the rising cost of personal protective equipment. Torres said he used to pay $54 for a case of gloves, but that price has skyrocketed to $130.
He is hopeful that August will be profitable.
"If you can afford to go out and have a meal, please choose a local business," Torres said. "Go as often as you can."