SPOKANE, Wash - Twenty-four individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 were confirmed through contact tracing to have a direct link to Borracho Tacos & Tequileria in Spokane, according to the Spokane Regional Health District. 

Of the 24 cases, only one was an employee and most were between the ages of 19 to 29. The individuals who contracted COVID-19 were socializing as a group of friends on the weekends of June 12-13 and June 19-20. 

On June 12-13, Borracho hosted a live concert featuring a local DJ. On June 19-20, they were inviting patrons to come enjoy their patio seating.

According to SRHD, some were asymptomatic and some had symptoms.

Spokane County Chief Health Officer Dr. Bob Lutz 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.”

Borracho released a statement of Facebook, saying in part: 

It has come to our attention today that there have been several reports of guests of Borracho with mostly non-symptomatic cases of Covid-19 that visited our establishment primarily during the period of June 12th and 13th. This reflects a very real challenge that all local businesses are now facing as we all do our part to help prevent the further spread of Covid-19. From the onset of phase 2 we have worked diligently to be a leader in implementing the recommended protocols going above and beyond to ensure the safety of our patrons. To outline some of the measures we have taken; We have spaced our seating and required 6' social distancing, our employees are required to log their temperature on arrival and wear masks and gloves during their entire shift, and we have reduced our total capacity to 50%. In addition, we have updated our business with touchless sinks, touchless doors as well as providing multiple sanitation stations for our customers.

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