Music store temporarily closes as Idris Elba tests positive for COVID-19 |

Local musical instrument business The Candyman Strings & Things today announced it will temporarily close after actor Idris Elba, who was in town filming and visited the retailer last week, announced that he had tested positive for COVID-19. Owner Rand Cook says he made the decision moments after Elba’s diagnosis was announced.

“It has come to our attention that a COVID-19 positive individual was in our store, and I believe it was a week ago,” Cook told SFR. “We have closed the store for today and are creating an action plan moving forward, including having all of our staff and teachers tested – none of our staff or teachers have shown any signs of symptoms.”

Cook also says the store had adopted stricter cleaning practices weeks ago when news of the virus first made the rounds.

“We were way ahead of this thing,” Cook says. “We had a meeting and said it would be all surfaces, all things, every half hour. We’ve really been on top of cleaning.”

The Candyman turned 50 in September. In addition to selling, consigning and repairing musical instruments, the shop also offers lessons in a myriad of instruments, as well as rock camp activities for young people.

Cook says he and staff are now developing a plan for next steps and awaiting feedback from the CDC. In the meantime, he said, “let’s all be very patient with each other. These are scary times, but we’re all in this together.”

Elba, who was in New Mexico working on a Netflix Original produced by Jay-Z film, posted his personal health on Twitter, noting “Feeling fine, no symptoms so far.” It is not known where the actor is isolated.

Alice P. Darby