Courtesy Photo, Dick’s Drive-In

Courtesy Photo, Dick’s Drive-In

Dick’s Drive-In to reopen in Kent after COVID-19 closure | Update

Back in business Wednesday, Nov. 11 after two employees tested positive

Dick’s Drive-In will reopen its Kent location on Wednesday, Nov. 11 after closing for over a week after two employees tested positive for COVID-19.

Dick’s will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 24220 Pacific Highway S., according to a company statement. Veterans and active duty military will be able to receive the Veterans Day promotion of a free burger, fries, medium drink & two condiments.

Public Health – Seattle & King County worked 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 Nov. 3 due to the confirmed cases.

“Dick’s elected to close voluntarily,” said Kate Cole, spokesperson for Public Health – Seattle & King County, in a Nov. 6 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 Nov. 5.

“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 released a statement 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 statement. “Additionally, there is no evidence of food borne transmission of COVID-19.”

Dick’s owners said in a Nov. 7 statement that the Kent location remained closed for a week while employees completed their quarantine. The owners also noted that the vast majority of employees are compensated during quarantine through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

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