DENVER — Several more Colorado In-N-Out employees have now tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the latest outbreak data released Wednesday.
A total of 145 employees have now tested positive, including 83 at the Colorado Springs location and 62 at the Aurora location.
That’s an increase of 23 cases compared to last week. Three new cases were reported in Colorado Springs, and 20 were reported in Aurora.
No COVID-19 deaths among employees have been reported.
The outbreak at the Colorado Springs location began December 6, and the one at the Aurora location began December 17, according to the state.
“We are experiencing a substantial improvement in the number of new COVID-19 cases occurring among our teams in Colorado. At this time, we have less than five active confirmed cases between our two locations, although we know that trends can change quickly. The remaining Associates who tested positive have already recovered, and are presently healthy and well. While we feel positive about the improvement, we are concerned when any member of our Associate family is affected. We continue to keep them in our prayers and we’ll also continue to take action to keep our teams as safe as possible.
We are working closely with our public health agencies to review and confirm that the proactive steps we are taking are appropriate and effective in protecting our communities. This includes limiting the number of Associates and Customers indoors, using staffing “cohorts”, and responding quickly to identify and exclude from work anyone who has been in close contact with an individual who has tested positive.
We remain committed to doing our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The actions that we will continue to take in our Colorado restaurants are guided by our commitment to protect the health and safety of our Customers and Associates.”Denny Warnick | In-N-Out Vice President of Operations
Following the outbreaks, the state encouraged Coloradans to wear a mask when using drive-thrus.
Both In-N-Out locations, the first in Colorado, opened on Nov. 20 to massive lines.
“Currently there is not a recommendation to close the location. Based on Public Health’s follow up and investigation, In-N-Out is adhering to frequent cleaning and disinfecting protocols, in addition to enacting employee screenings, exclusion of ill employees, and cohorting staff. Recommendations to temporarily close are given when transmission within the facility is identified and to allow for proper cleaning and disinfecting.
Public Health maintains regular communication with leadership at In-N-Out to review new cases of illness and check on implementation of safety protocols. We are continually reassessing the situation to determine if there needs to be any changes to our current recommendation.
The first priority in any outbreak investigation is to reduce the risk of COVID-19 to staff and guests of a facility. This includes identifying who was exposed to positive cases and ensuring that they are quarantined away from work. If they become ill while they are in quarantine, they will be counted towards the facility’s outbreak total. If a business is able to continue operating safely after all exposed staff have been removed, Public Health typically does not recommend closure.
In addition to removing staff that may become ill with COVID-19, fast food business models also present minimal risk to customers. Interactions are short and the industry has put additional precautions in place to prevent COVID-19 transmission. At this time, no customers of In-N-Out have been identified as COVID-19 cases linked to the outbreak.”El Paso County Health Department