9 Seattle bars close temporarily due to COVID-19 infections among staff

At least nine Seattle bars temporarily closed because a worker tested positive for COVID-19 or came into contact with an infected person.

The Seattle Times reports the Unicorn on Capitol Hill and Jupiter bar in Belltown each had two vaccinated workers who tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend, and bar management said they immediately closed.

Owners at both bars say they plan to reopen Friday since test results for the rest of their staff were negative.

The closures come as King County is seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases because of the highly infectious delta variant. Health officials in the past week have recommended that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks in public indoor settings.

Unicorn bar owner Adam Heimstadt said he doesn’t think local health officials went far enough with the mask suggestion. When he reopens Friday, Heimstadt will require all patrons to show their COVID-19 vaccine card along with ID.

RELATED: Seattle bar requiring proof of vaccination for customers

"I wish this was a mandate for all bars," he said. "We need to all join together to require a vaccine card. It’s the only way."

Another bar on Capitol Hill, The Doctor’s Office, posted on Facebook that starting Aug. 1, "proof of full vaccination or a negative test within 48 hours will be required for entry."

In Belltown, Jupiter bar owner Joey Nix said he’ll reopen at 50% capacity and bring back a plastic shield used to separate customers from people behind the bar. Two employees tested positive for COVID-19 last week although both were vaccinated. Both had mild symptoms, management said.

The other temporary closures included Rumba and Inside Passage on Capitol Hill, Shorty’s in Belltown, Bar Harbor in South Lake Union, Holy Mountain Brewing in Interbay, The Masonry in Uptown and The Masonry in Fremont.

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