3:46 PM: We’ve reported twice in the past two weeks on COVID-19 cases among employees at Duke’s on Alki. We had followup questions out to Public Health Seattle-King County after reports of more cases – and PHSKC has just announced that the restaurant has been closed because of “ongoing outbreak of COVID-19 in employees” and “potential for workplace and customer transmission.” PHSKC also cited “non-compliance wth Washington State’s “Stay Safe, Stay Healthy” requirements.” The restaurant had closed for three days last week because of the initial outbreak, reopening on July 3rd.
4:45 PM: More from Public Health:
“At this time, all the cases have been in employees of Duke’s restaurant and we are not aware of cases among customers. The risk to diners is generally lower because they are typically not in close contact with employees for prolonged periods of time. For these reasons, customers do not need to quarantine, but should monitor their health closely for any symptoms and get tested at any sign of COVID-like illness,” said Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer, Public Health- Seattle & King County.
“With the recent increase in cases, everyone – including all restaurants, businesses and individuals – needs to remember the importance of physical distancing, limiting the number and duration of contacts with others, use of face coverings, good ventilation, and hand washing to the reduce risk of COVID-19 to customers, employees and the community. Anyone who knows they were in close contact with a COVID-19 case or has symptoms of COVID-19 should isolate themselves away from others and seek testing. And older adults and people with risk factors for severe COVID-19 infection should take extra precautions and limit activities to the extent possible.”
In response to rising COVID-19 cases county wide, Public Health is expanding efforts to educate and enforce compliance of Governor Inslee’s Safe Start COVID-19 reopening requirements in food establishments.
Information for customers of the restaurant
If you were a customer at Duke’s at Alki, watch closely for any symptoms daily until 14 days after you were at the restaurant. Symptoms of COVID-19 infection include fever, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, or a change in smell or taste perception. Other symptoms include recent or increasing tiredness or weakness, headache, muscle aches, diarrhea, chills, and sore throat. These symptoms occur within 2–14 days of your last exposure to a person diagnosed with COVID-19.
If you do not have any symptoms you do not need to quarantine. You can continue to go to work and out in public spaces as normal, but you should wear a face covering and stay at least 6 feet from people who do not live in your home.
If you develop any symptoms, even if minor, call your doctor or healthcare provider for a medical evaluation. Explain that you might have been exposed to a person with COVID-19. Follow their instructions for testing.
If you do not have a doctor or healthcare provider: free or low-cost testing is available at several King County locations to anyone, regardless of immigration status. Call the King County COVID-19 Call Center at 206-477-3977 for assistance. The Call Center is open from 8am to 7pm, 7 days a week. If you need an interpreter, say the name of your language.
6 PM: We went over to Duke’s to verify the closure. They are indeed closed, but no explanatory note on the door.
ADDED EARLY THURSDAY: Duke’s posted a statement on social media confirming the 7 Alki cases that commenters have reported, The restaurant’s owners contend they have been “strictly following CDC and local health department guidelines.”