Additional Seattle bars to require proof of vaccine after more fully vaccinated staff test positive

At the door at Seattle bar Kings Hardware, patrons are pulling out their vaccine cards along with their IDs.

"It’s about protecting our staff," says owner Linda Derschang, who made it a requirement for her three bars on Thursday. "It’s been hard to predict what’s going to happen next through all this," says Derschang on Thursday evening. 

The next morning, a member of her staff at Linda’s Tavern tested positive for COVID, despite them being fully vaccinated. Derschang says this just shows the importance of requiring vaccination. 

"About a week ago, there's been a fairly major COVID flair up with vaccinated bartenders testing positive and getting sick," says Chris Jones, co-owner of Belltown bar, Screwdriver. 

Jones says they haven’t had any staff test positive, but knowing other bars that have prompted them to start requiring proof of vaccination this week. 

"It just feels like kind of the only thing we can do right now," says Jones. 

RELATED: 10 Seattle bars close temporarily due to COVID-19 infections among staff

Public health officials say vaccination is still the best line of defense, which Jones agrees with, hence the bar’s new policy. But that doesn’t make the current situation any less unsettling. 

"We're just trying to do the best we can while staying open and safe which is, very difficult and very scary and extremely frustrating, these last couples days have certainly been, other than the initial shutdown, probably the most frustrated that I’ve been because I don't know what to do," says Jones. 

Jones estimates 10 Seattle bars have recently had to close due to staff testing positive

King County Public Health officials say they’re still gathering outbreak data associated with vaccinated people. Officials say as of Friday, there was a recent outbreak at a local gym involving 16 people, 14 of which were confirmed vaccinated, the other two reported being vaccinated. 

As more and more Seattle businesses start-requiring proof of the shot, Jones says "It’s kind of a throw your hands up sort of moment and we're just trying to do the best we can." 

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