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Duke's Chowder House on Alki Beach reopens with new COVID-19 safety plan

A coronavirus outbreak among Duke's Chowder House staff forced the restaurant to close earlier this month.

SEATTLE — Editor's note: The above video originally aired in July 2020 when Duke's Chowder House closed due to a coronavirus outbreak.

Duke's Chowder House on Alki Beach reopened Tuesday with a new safety plan following a coronavirus outbreak among staff that forced the restaurant to close.

According to the restaurant, the plan includes "all aspects" of Gov. Jay Inslee's reopening plan. Employees will undergo health screenings and practice social distancing.

The restaurant will only fill to 50% capacity. 

Duke's submitted the plan on July 10 and worked with health officials for several days.

On July 8, Public Health – Seattle & King County closed Duke’s Chowder House due to an "ongoing outbreak" of COVID-19 among employees, the agency said. There were no known cases among restaurant customers, health officials said. However, customers of Duke’s were advised to watch closely for any symptoms daily until 14 days after the restaurant visit.

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The agency said factors in the closure included the potential for workplace and employee transmission, and for non-compliance with Washington’s Safe Start Plan. According to the agency, the restaurant did not promote customer distancing. 

Duke's previously said it was strictly following CDC and local health department guidelines and that employees who reported being exposed to coronavirus did not work on-site after exposure. 

The company said that the employees affected included one in Bellevue, two in Tacoma and seven in Alki. The Alki Beach location was the only one that closed.