OTTUMWA — Bubba-Q’s is “taking one for the team” in order to keep the public and the restaurant’s staff safe as COVID-19 continues to spread.

Owner Bubba Knapp said Monday that the decision to close at 7 p.m. that night was made independently of Gov. Kim Reynolds’ order earlier in the day to close malls, among other types of businesses.

“Our mall was already closed down,” said Knapp. “We were able to stay open because we have our own entrance.”

However, the governor’s announcement, along with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control, the coronavirus task force and others played a part in the decision to close. “They’re really, really hitting it hard” on advising people to stay home as much as possible.

“We thought it would be best for our customers and our team to stay put in this time and let some of this play out. We listened to the governor’s press conference and are doing our part to help out,” Knapp said.

He said the situation was fluid but that, as with most of the current recommendations, they’re looking at reopening after April 30, but circumstances will dictate the decision. He said they will continue to monitor the pandemic and follow the advice of health and government officials.

“We’re taking one for the team, trying to keep everybody safe and healthy during this time,” Knapp said.

Features Editor Tracy Goldizen can be reached via email at tgoldizen@ottumwacourier.com or followed on Twitter @CourierTracy.

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Tracy Goldizen is the Courier's features and magazine editor, leading production of the award-winning "Ottumwa Life" and the Courier's other magazine offerings. She began work with the Courier on the copy desk.

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