COVID-19 Outbreak Linked to Spokane Restaurant

COVID-19 Outbreak Linked to Spokane Restaurant

Jun 26, 2020

Media Contact: Kelli Hawkins | khawkins@srhd.org | (509) 324.1539, c. (509) 994.8968


Today, according to the Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD), 24 individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 were confirmed through contact tracing to have a direct link to Borracho Tacos & Tequileria in Spokane.  

SRHD reported that of the 24 positive cases, only one was an employee and most were in the 19-29 age demographic. The individuals were socializing as groups of friends on the weekends of June 12-13 and June 19-20. Some were asymptomatic and some had symptoms. 

Dr. Bob Lutz, Spokane County Health Officer, explained many of the cases represent individuals who were not social distancing or keeping their interactions within small groups of five or less.  

“We understand that many of us crave meeting up with our friends at our favorite hang-outs,” said Lutz. “We can have those social connections, but it’s vital we socialize while also maintaining the required health measures put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community.”  

Lutz explained that staying physically distanced by six feet, wearing a face covering in public when physical distancing is not possible, washing your hands regularly, socializing in groups of five or less, and staying home when sick are measures recommended by SRHD that can help stop transmission of the virus.  

SRHD representatives said that Borracho management indicated they did have many protocols in place, in accordance with the Phase 2 requirements of the governor’s Safe Start plan. Those included:

  • Temperature and symptom checks of employees when they arrive for work
  • Employees are required to wear a face covering and gloves when working
  • Employees are encouraged to get tested for COVID-19 if they think they are sick
  • Bathrooms have been set up with no-touch faucets for handwashing and doors that can be opened without using a handle
  • The establishment is operating at less than 50 percent capacity to allow for physical distancing between tables
  • Staff are present at the entrance to control the number of patrons in the facility
  • Starting June 26, they will require masks to be worn by customers and have disposable face coverings available for customers if they do not have their own 

In addition, SRHD recommended further measures be put in place, such as:

  • Posted physical distancing reminders at entrances and verbal reminders by staff
  • Physical distancing markers for customers waiting in line for entrance, allowing room for small groups
  • Physical distancing and donning of masks by staff when on break in common areas
  • Due to current outbreak, all staff are encouraged to be tested for COVID-19, and those who were in close contact with confirmed positive cases are asked to quarantine at home for 14 days 

“Our ability to open up businesses in Phase 2 was hard won, but can be easily lost,” said Lutz. “We want to move forward, and the way to do that is by using the tools we have for combating infectious disease. Maintain physical distance and wear face coverings not to protect yourself, but to protect those around you.”