New York City is justifiably famous for its thousands of fantastic eating establishments. Tourists from around the world arrive here to enjoy the culinary delights that can be found across the five boroughs. One such out-of-towner who has been taking part in the city’s dining scene is former Alaska governor Sarah Palin. She was spotted at Elio’s on the Upper East Side on Saturday, Campagnola on Tuesday, and then — probably because she had such a wonderful experience the first time — back at Elio’s just last evening. We all need to do our part to support New York’s restaurants during this difficult time, and it’s heartening to see such a high-profile figure using her clout to focus the public’s attention to these struggling businesses.
There is just one problem. Palin, you may have heard, tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, subsequently delaying a trial tied to a defamation lawsuit she filed against the New York Times, which is ostensibly the reason she arrived in town in the first place. The CDC’s official isolation guidelines suggest that anyone who has tested positive “should isolate for five days and if they are asymptomatic or their symptoms are resolving (without fever for 24 hours), follow that by five days of wearing a mask when around others to minimize the risk of infecting people they encounter.” While this term is shorter than the agency’s original quarantine recommendation, showing up at a restaurant to eat unmasked around others less than 48 hours after your lawyer told a judge that you had received three separate positive tests is, one might say, pushing it.
A manager for Elio’s told Gothamist that Palin had returned to the restaurant to apologize for the controversy around her original visit and that, because of her positive diagnosis, she had been seated outside, which is probably information that is of little comfort to the staff who still had to serve her table outdoors, or any other customers who also dined at the restaurant.