COVID-19 outbreak confirmed in The Hawk; bar patrons asked to control symptoms | News, sports, jobs

Photo by: File photo of Nick Krug / Journal-World

In this Dec. 7, 2017 file photo, The Jayhawk Cafe, also known as The Hawk, is located at the corner of 13th and Ohio streets.

"We asked anyone who was there last weekend to monitor for possible symptoms of COVID-19. We believe the source of exposure for some of these cases occurred prior to visiting The Hawk, but we would consider them contagious during this time period, "Chief Information Officer Sonia Jordan said in the statement. "We are not confident that we can identify everyone who was there who may have been in close contact with contagious people, so we have published this information."

Clients who visited The Hawk last weekend are being asked to manage their COVID-19 symptoms for themselves, the health department said.

Attempts to contact The Hawk by phone on Friday were unsuccessful, and The Hawk did not immediately respond to an email request for comment.

In response to a question about whether or not The Hawk will be open this weekend, Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health spokesman George Diepenbrock said that question should be directed to the bar.

The statement stated that The Hawk owners have been in contact with the health department about best practices and guidelines for health and safety.

On Thursday, the Journal-World reported that state and county health departments rejected the Journal-World requests to detail where the respective departments had confirmed outbreaks of the respiratory virus.

Both agencies cited an exemption in the law that protects records that, if disclosed, "would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy." The requests only asked for the location of confirmed outbreaks, not information about infected people.

Diepenbrock said the site of this outbreak was identified because the health department was unable to successfully identify all possible close contacts.

"(We) are launching the outbreak site so that people who were there last weekend can receive alerts to monitor their symptoms," he wrote in an email.

The health department recommends that people in a public indoor space wear masks and maintain a social distance of 6 feet from others.