Statement on closure of Duke’s Restaurant at Alki Beach

Updated July 14, 2020 – Duke’s Chowder House on Alki Beach has reopened as of today, July 14, 2020. Duke’s Chowder House submitted a comprehensive COVID-19 safety plan that includes all aspects of the Governor’s Safe Start Requirements. The plan addresses employee health screening, physical distancing for employees, and compliance with 50% seating capacity. Duke’s Chowder House mapped out their front of the house and back of the house operations to optimize safe workflow, and reduced available indoor and outdoor seating. Furthermore, all employees were tested for COVID-19 per Public Health recommendations. 

Duke’s submitted a safety plan on July 10 and worked with public health for several days to finalize and confirm implementation of the plan so they could open safely. The restaurant has been fully cooperative throughout the investigation and was quickly able to address all of the Public Health concerns.    

Original post: On July 8, 2020, Public Health – Seattle & King County closed Duke’s Chowder House on Alki Beach. This restaurant location was closed due to an ongoing outbreak of COVID-19 among employees, the potential for workplace and employee transmission, and for lack of overall compliance with Washington’s Safe Start Plan.

“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.

More information about COVID-19 testing options is available here:

Additional key resources

Latest information from the CDC on people who need to take extra precautions.

We can all work to protect against COVID-19. Read the latest from CDC on how to prevent exposures.

Originally published July 8, 2020