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Wednesday, April 15, 2020
COVID Cluster at Two Kailua-Kona McDonalds
By News Release @ 6:13 AM :: 971 Views :: Hawaii County , Small Business, COVID-19

Kona COVID-19 cluster doubles in one day

WHT April 19, 2020: … Fifteen more people associated with a pair of Kona McDonald’s restaurants have tested positive for COVID-19, state health officials announced Saturday.

The additional cases brings to the total cluster to 29 employees and their household members, up from 14 on Friday, according to the Department of Health. To date, a total of 17 employees of McDonald’s locations at Kona Commons and inside the Kona Walmart as well as 12 household members have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Both locations remain closed while the McDonald’s on Kuakini Highway remains open to drive-through customers.

The department said it is conducting contact tracing for new cases and continuing to monitor employees and family members, all of whom are in isolation or quarantine….

read … Kona COVID-19 cluster doubles in one day

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Daily News Digest April 14, 2020 3:30PM

No Public Health Threat from Kona Restaurant Cases

DOH is investigating a limited, localized community spread of COVID-19 among employees at a Kona food establishment. DOH Director Dr. Bruce Anderson identified the business as a McDonald’s restaurant. Fortunately, the restaurant, like many food establishments, had previously implemented social distancing measures to protect customers and prevent exposure prior to an employee testing positive. The establishment has closed its operation and performed enhanced cleaning. The twelve (12) employees who have tested positive are in isolation and exposed employees without symptoms are self-quarantined at home. Two individuals are both employees and live in the same household. The investigation is ongoing and based on findings so far, DOH does not believe this outbreak poses a risk to the general public. The department is continuing to work with the restaurant to ensure all possible precautions are being taken to prevent further spread of disease. There is no risk to the public, as only workers were involved, and the restaurant was taking necessary physical distancing measures to protect customers.

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Daily News Digest Addendum  April 14, 2020 5:30PM

Department of Health:

Clarification on McDonald’s COVID-19 Cluster Investigation

A cluster of cases involving 7 lab-confirmed employees at McDonald’s locations at both Kona Commons and Walmart in Kailua-Kona has been recently identified and that number may change as the investigation into the primary case and their contacts continues by DOH. Once confirmed the establishment closed its operations at both locations and is currently performing enhanced cleaning. All employees who have tested positive are in isolation and potentially exposed employees without symptoms are self-quarantined at their homes. In addition, 5 family members exposed to 2 of the confirmed employees have tested positive for COVID-19. This brings the total count of this cluster to 12 at this time, including both employees (7) and their close contacts (5). The investigation is ongoing at this time and more cases may be identified related to this cluster.

Based on findings thus far, DOH does not believe this outbreak poses a risk to the general public. The department is continuing to work with the food establishment to ensure all possible precautions are being taken to prevent further spread of disease and that any close contacts of those confirmed are being closely monitored for any immediate changes to their health. The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has thus far found no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19.

“The health and safety of our employees and customers is our number one priority. Our organization is continuing to make changes to restaurant operations to serve food safely and conveniently with the health and well-being of restaurant employees top of mind. We have closed our Kona Commons and McDonald’s of Walmart Kona locations for deep cleaning to conduct a comprehensive sanitization of the restaurant. Our thoughts are with our crew members who have been impacted by COVID-19 and we look forward to re-opening when it is safe to do so and with the assistance of the Hawaii Department of Health in accordance with CDC regulations” said McDonald’s franchise owner, Patrick Lim of the Lim Organization.

The DOH is working closely with the Lim Organization to investigate this localized community spread of COVID-19 among all employees at the Kailua-Kona food establishment that may have been inadvertently exposed.  Fortunately, the restaurant, like many other food establishments, had previously implemented social distancing measures to protect customers and prevent exposure prior to an employee testing positive. These measures included protective clear barriers between employees and customers during all transactions. These efforts may have helped to reduce the total magnitude of this cluster.


WHT: COVID-19 cluster tied to Kona McDonald’s: 12 people have tested positive

HTH: Seven employees at McDonald’s in Kona test positive for COVID-19

WHT: State health officials said there is no “significant risk” to the public

SA: Cluster of coronavirus cases found at 2 McDonald’s in Kona


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