The cluster of COVID-19 cases associated with a pair of Kona McDonald’s restaurants increased again on Friday, state Health Director Dr. Bruce Anderson said.
An additional employee of the fast-food eateries tested positive Friday, Anderson said. The number of confirmed positive cases associated with that location and the Kona Commons McDonald’s now stands at 14 with nine of the cases being employees and five being family members of two of those employees.
The department said the cluster of cases remains under investigation and that it is continuing to monitor all employees and family members who remain in isolation or quarantine.
Anderson again did not address risk to the public, which he’s previously stated is low, despite concerns from the public about workers not wearing gloves and/or masks and repeated questions from media regarding the potential for exposure to patrons of the restaurants.
“The real problem, though, the way this all got started, is one worker came to work and continued to work for days while they were actively sick and we all know that often the disease is spread through coworkers who are working shoulder to shoulder often and that’s a significant risk,” Anderson said Friday.
The Department of Health also did not respond as of press-time to an emailed inquiry regarding the concerns. The department has stated, however, that the Food and Drug Administration thus far found no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19.
Both locations remain closed while the McDonald’s on Kuakini Highway remains open to drive-through customers.
Meanwhile Friday, 12 new cases of COVID-19 were reported across the state, bringing the total number of cases to 553. To date, 390 people have recovered and been released from isolation.
Of the new cases, three were from Hawaii County, increasing the island’s total case count at 44. Thirty of the 44 cases have been released from isolation. One person has required hospitalization. No deaths have been reported.
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald