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Dick’s Drive-In remains closed in Kent until further notice

Reopening date to be determined after two employees test positive for COVID-19

Dick’s Drive-In in Kent remained closed Friday until further notice after two employees tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week.

Public Health – Seattle & King County is working with Dick’s to help notify anyone who may have had close contact with either of the confirmed cases during the exposure period.

Owners closed the restaurant, 24220 Pacific Highway S., on Tuesday due to the confirmed cases.

“Dick’s elected to close voluntarily,” said Kate Cole, spokesperson for Public Health – Seattle & King County, in a Friday email. “Reopening will not require approval from Public Health. In some cases, we direct establishments to close. Typically, this is in cases where we’re concerned that there is ongoing and widespread transmission. In these cases, we work with the establishment on the steps they must take to reopen.”

Dick’s initially had closed its Queen Anne location as well because some of the employees from that site had helped staff the Kent location. Queen Anne reopened on Thursday.

“Dick’s Drive-In has been fully cooperative in this ongoing outbreak investigation,” Cole said. “They reported to Public Health immediately upon learning they had two employees who had tested positive and voluntarily chose to close both locations where these employees had worked.

“As a part of our investigation, we’ve worked with Dick’s to notify anyone who may have been a close contact of the confirmed cases during the exposure period and provide them with follow-up guidance (testing, symptom monitoring and quarantine). We’re also continuing to monitor for additional cases that may be linked to this outbreak.”

Cole said any risk to customers was unlikely.

“We don’t believe customers in this case are at high risk of exposure, given that the restaurant was in compliance with Safe Start COVID-prevention guidelines,” Cole said.

Dick’s posted on Facebook that owners are working with Public Health.

“We have confirmed with King County Public Health that transmission risk to customers is extremely unlikely for the following reasons: we are following all public health guidelines for safe operation including social distancing for customers and mandatory masking for all employees and customers, we go above and beyond requirements for sanitation, all locations are sterilized daily, the average length of time for our transactions is under 2 minutes, and our ventilation system pulls fresh air from outside the building into the building via the window ports constantly while we are serving customers,” according to the post. “Additionally, there is no evidence of food borne transmission of COVID-19.”


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