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Good news for Seattle’s beer lovers. Fremont Brewing reopened their popular Urban Beer Garden Sunday following last week’s temporary closure after one of their employees tested positive for COVID-19.
The employee’s last shift was on June 9 at the Urban Beer Garden, and they were asymptomatic when reporting for the shift. When screened, they presented an “acceptable temperature” and wore personal protective equipment including a mask and gloves throughout their shift.
Following the closure on June 16, the brewery required all employees to test negative for COVID-19 before returning and performed an “extra deep sanitation cleaning” of its beer garden and production facility.
Fremont Brewing co-founder and owner Sara Nelson told the SeattlePI that the brewery has enlisted the help of a medical professional to assess their operations and makes suggestions to increase safety.
Our Urban Beer Garden is re-opening at noon on Sunday, June 21 – Happy Father’s Day! All of our Urban Beer Garden staff tested negative for COVID-19 and we did an extra deep sanitation cleaning of the entire Urban Beer Garden and both brewery locations. #fremontbrewing pic.twitter.com/3S8obNjpvJ
— Fremont Brewing (@fremontbrewing) June 21, 2020
“We are refining our protocols for what to do when somebody tests positive or has contact with someone who has tested positive so we can assess the risks,” Nelson said. “We will be using the latest CDC recommendations to create science-based protocols moving forward. The goal is always to keep our team and customers safe.”
The brewery has not ruled out serial testing, a strategy that tests people at different points in time. The CDC has stated that this strategy “may be more likely to detect acute infection among workers with repeat exposures than testing done at a single point in time.”
Nelson emphasized that the brewery is balancing public health and safety with operating the business.
“In general what I have seen at the tasting room is extremely responsible behavior from customers and staff,” Nelson said. “I do get the feeling that people in this town are taking [the virus] seriously and trying to do the right thing.”