UPDATE: On Monday, October 19, Shepherd posted that he has had two negative tests since his initial positive test. The original diagnosis appears to have been a false positive.
Houston chef Chris Shepherd has tested positive for coronavirus. The James Beard Award winning chef behind Underbelly Hospitality's four local restaurants — Georgia James, Hay Merchant, UB Preserv, and One Fifth Mediterranean — shared his diagnosis in an Instagram post published on Thursday, October 15.
According to the post, Shepherd traveled by plane for the first time since the start of the pandemic in order to fulfill a commitment in Montana. He took a test on Tuesday after returning home from his trip. The absence of antibodies suggests that it's a new infection.
So far, Shepherd reports that he's symptom free and will quarantine at home for 10 days. Both Shepherd's fiancee, publicist Lindsey Brown, and the chefs who traveled with him to Montana have all tested negative. All of the chef's restaurants remain open and are operating at 50-percent capacity.
"Everyone at Underbelly Hospitality remains diligent about wearing masks, washing hands, social distancing and maintaining the safest environment for staff and guests," Shepherd writes. "We love you all. Thank you for the support. Please stay safe."
Over 152,000 Harris County residents have tested positive for COVID-19, according to a dashboard maintained by the Harris County Department of Public Health. The county has over 21,000 active cases.