Westport Ale House reopens after being shut down by health department due to COVID-19

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A popular Westport bar is reopening after it was closed down by the health department due to COVID-19 concerns.

Westport Ale House reopened Friday after all staff members tested negative for the virus, management said in a statement on the bar’s website.

According to the health department, investigators went to talk to the manager at Westport Ale House on Sept. 9 after receiving multiple complaints about the bar being over capacity and people not wearing masks.

During the investigation, the manager told health officials that there were two COVID-19 cases among staff members.

RELATED: Kansas City Health Department shuts down Westport Ale House over COVID-19 outbreak

The number of positive cases connected to the bar grew to at least seven. The first employee tested positive on Aug. 19, according to the health department.

According to the health department, some of the employees didn’t respond to contact tracers.

The health department also said that during separate investigations, they were able to determine that two Kansas City residents who tested positive for the virus visited the bar on Aug. 29. Those two people were with seven co-workers who came to Kansas City for a business trip and told contact tracers that the seven co-workers flew back to their home states on Aug. 30 or Aug. 31.

Management at Westport Ale House said the issue was a miscommunication and that they look forward to working with the city in the future.

“We are thankful for the efforts of the Health Department to keep our community safe and welcome an opportunity to meet with Mayor Lucas so that we may work together to avoid miscommunications like this in the future,” management said.

Westport Ale House also announced changes to their procedures for once they reopen. They include the following:

  • Forehead temperature checks
  • Requiring (and providing if necessary) masks for everyone
  • Employing professional cleaners
  • Making staff wash hands every half hour
  • Providing hand sanitizer throughout the restaurant
  • Sanitizing chairs and tables after every use
  • Replacing physical menus with QR codes
  • Requiring some staff wear gloves
  • Arranging tables at least six feet apart
  • Limiting parties to 10 or fewer
  • Replacing air systems with stronger filters
  • Adding staff to help remind customers of guidelines
  • Adding off-duty Kansas City police officers to help with crowd management

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