Steamworks Brewing Co. closed Wednesday after an employee tested positive for COVID-19 and will remain closed for at least three days.
Kris Oyler, president of Peak Food & Beverage Co., said the employee who tested positive did not have contact with the public. Citing federal medical privacy laws, he declined to identify the employee’s job duties.
Steamworks does not keep a time log of customers who dine at the restaurant, one recommendation from the state for restaurants to adapt to help with contact tracing.
The employee who tested positive last worked at the restaurant a week ago, Oyler said.
Steamworks did not open for business Wednesday and will remain closed for at least three days, through Friday, after which the restaurant will reassess whether additional down time will be needed, Oyler said.
“While this is only one individual testing positive, we’re going the next step and closing the restaurant for the safety of our community and employees,” Oyler said in a news release.
During the closure, additional sanitation efforts will be conducted, he said.
Steamworks employs 150 people, down from 300 normally employed pre-COVID, and all of them are expected to be tested by Thursday by Cedar Diagnositcs, a Durango medical laboratory.
Results are expected in three days, Oyler said.
Oyler said he believes employees will be tested with nasal swabs. Rapid testing, which provides quicker results but is less accurate, will not be used, he said.
Testing will begin with co-workers who shared a shift with the employee who tested positive, Oyler said.
Oyler said the employee who tested positive is the first person employed by Steamworks to test positive for COVID-19 since the restaurant reopened for takeout in May.
The brewpub closed at the end of March, as did other restaurants in Durango, when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit. Indoor dining resumed in June.
Steamworks will not offer take-out or curb-side delivery during the closure.
Steamworks, like other restaurants in Durango, has cut indoor dining capacity to 50% to meet requirements set by the state under guidance for its Safer at Home policy. The lowered capacity for indoor dining requires 6-foot separation for indoor tables.
The outdoor tables in front of the restaurant also help the restaurant offer added seats and have proved popular with customers, according to a news release issued by Peak Food & Beverage.