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Kansas City Health Department shuts down bar over COVID-19 outbreak

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF) — A Westport bar and restaurant linked to a coronavirus outbreak is now closed after the city’s health department suspended its food permit. In a prepared statement, the health department says Westport Ale House will be closed until further notice.

The health department says management at the tavern failed to provide disease investigators with complete information about eight COVID-19 cases during the month of August, which are all linked to the business.

For the suspension to be lifted, the health department says the Ale House must submit a plan showing how the business will comply with the public health mask mandate and crowd capacity restrictions. Employees also must cooperate fully with disease investigators.

Changes the Westport Ale House detailed on Facebook include:

  • Temperature checks for everyone entering the building
  • Hiring a professional cleaning company to perform additional sanitizing of the business
  • All staff will now wash their hands at least once every half-hour, and more hand sanitizing stations will be added to the restaurant
  • The tavern is eliminating hand-held menus in favor of virtual menus with QR codes that customers access from their phones
  • Filters are being replaced on all of the ventilation equipment with better filters that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends
  • The Ale House claims it will voluntarily restrict occupancy below the 50% city limit.

The health department says it wants businesses to stay open for their employees, customers and the economy, but they must protect people from preventable outbreaks. The health department says Westport Ale House failed to do that.

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