Varsity Tavern in Tempe under investigation, accused of allowing employees with COVID-19 to continue working

Varsity Tavern on Mill Avenue is under investigation for multiple violations, including allegedly allowing employees who were known to have tested positive for COVID-19 to continue working.

According to the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control, the bar was issued a "notice of violation and opportunity to comply" on June 30.

The list of alleged allegations against Varsity Tavern include:

  • Multiple instances where management permitted employees who were known to have tested positive for COVID-19 to continue working.
  • Management failed to notify the Arizona Department of Health Services that employees who tested positive for COVID-19 had worked while symptomatic.
  • Management failed to enforce policies in accordance with Governor Doug Ducey's executive orders and CDC guidelines.
  • Management failed to enforce social distancing and the wearing of masks.

On July 1, Varsity Tavern owners closed the business.

The state department of liquor said it will seek to revoke the bar's license.

Varsity Tavern had its license suspended on prior occasions -- once in December of 2018 and the following year in July.

In order to protect yourself from a possible infection, the CDC recommends: 

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

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CDC: How coronavirus spreads, symptoms, prevention, treatment, FAQ

Arizona COVID-19 resources, FAQ:

On, you'll find extensive coverage about COVID-19, including breaking news from around the country, exclusive interviews with health officials, and informative content from a variety of public health resources.


Symptoms for coronavirus COVID-19 include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. These, of course, are similar to the common cold and flu. 

Expect a common cold to start out with a sore or scratchy throat, cough, runny and/or stuffy nose. Flu symptoms are more intense and usually come on suddenly, and can include a high fever. 

Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear more slowly. They usually include fever, a dry cough and noticeable shortness of breath, according to the World Health Organization. A minority of cases develop pneumonia, and the disease is especially worrisome for the elderly and those with other medical problems such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes or heart conditions.

RELATED: Is it the flu, a cold or COVID-19? Different viruses present similar symptoms

Right now there's one big difference between flu and coronavirus: A vaccine exists to help prevent the flu and it's not too late to get it. It won't protect you from catching the coronavirus, but may put you in a better position to fight it.

To protect yourself, wash your hands well and often, keep them away from your face, and avoid crowds and standing close to people.

And if you do find yourself showing any of these flu or coronavirus symptoms - don't go straight to your doctor's office. That just risks making more people sick, officials urge. Call ahead, and ask if you need to be seen and where.