Local musical instrument business The Candyman Strings & Things announced today it would temporarily close after actor Idris Elba, who was in town filming and visited the retailer last week, announced he had tested positive for COVID-19. Owner Rand Cook says he made the decision moments after news of Elba's diagnosis broke.
"It's come to our attention that a COVID-19-positive individual was in our store, and I believe it was a week ago," Cook tells SFR. "We've closed the store for today and are creating a game plan moving forward including having our entire staff and teachers tested—not one of our employees or teachers has shown symptoms."
Cook also says the store had adopted stronger cleaning practices weeks ago when news of the virus was first making the rounds.
"We were way ahead of this thing," Cook says. "We had a meeting, and we said it's going to be every surface, every thing, every half hour. We've been really on top of cleaning."
The Candyman turned 50 in September. In addition to musical instrument sales, consignment and repairs, the shop also offers lessons in myriad instruments, as well as rock camp activities for youths.
Cook says that he and the staff are forming a plan for next steps now and waiting for word back from the CDC. In the meantime, he says, "Let's all be really patient with each other. These are frightening times, but we're all in this together."
Elba, who had been in New Mexico working on a Jay-Z-produced Netflix original movie, posted his personal health on Twitter, noting "I feel OK, I have no symptoms so far." It's not clear where the actor is isolated.