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A McDonald’s employee wearing a face mask looks out as a Glovo food delivery courier picks up an order.

Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters

At least a dozen people caught COVID-19 from a localized outbreak linked to two McDonald’s locations in Hawaii. 

According to Hawaii’s Department of Health, 12 people who have tested positive are in isolation. Exposed McDonald’s employees without symptoms are self-quarantining at home. 

Patrick Lim, the owner-operator of the McDonald’s locations, said all workers at the McDonald’s locations are being offered COVID-19 testing. 

“Our people are the heart and soul of our McDonald’s family, and we are keeping those impacted in our thoughts for a fast and full recovery,” Lim said. 

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An outbreak of COVID-19 cases in Hawaii has been linked to two McDonald’s locations, sickening at least a dozen people. 

On Tuesday, Hawaii’s Department of Health announced it was investigating a “limited, localized community spread” of COVID-19 among workers at a McDonald’s location in Kona, Hawaii.

According to the DOH, 12 people who have tested positive are in isolation. Exposed McDonald’s employees without symptoms are self-quarantining at home. 

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“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 Department of Health said in a statement. “The establishment has closed its operation and performed enhanced cleaning.” 

The DOH said that it did not believe the outbreak posed a risk to the public, as only workers were involved and the restaurant was taking social distancing measures to protect customers. 

Local news reported that the people who tested positive for COVID-19 are a mix of employees and family members at two McDonald’s — located in Kona Commons and the Kailua-Kona Walmart — on Hawaii’s Big Island. 

Patrick Lim, the owner-operator of the McDonald’s locations, said in a statement to Business Insider that the “highest priority is to protect the health and well-being of our people.” 

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“We recently learned that some employees from our Kona Commons and McDonald’s of Walmart Kona locations have tested positive for the coronavirus,” Lim said. “As soon as we were notified of the confirmed cases, we immediately closed the restaurant and have conducted a thorough sanitization procedure as well as notify local public health authorities. Additionally, we have also added protective barriers to limit contact in our restaurants.”

The location identified and reached out to all workers who had been in close contact with employees who contracted the virus and advised they self-quarantine for 14 days. Lim also said that the location is offering universal testing to all workers at each location. 

“Our people are the heart and soul of our McDonald’s family, and we are keeping those impacted in our thoughts for a fast and full recovery,” Lim said. 

McDonald’s workers in stores in California, Illinois, and Connecticut have also tested positive for COVID-19, according to Fight for 15, a group that organizes fast-food worker activism. On Tuesday, a McDonald’s worker in Chicago filed an OSHA complaint saying that conditions in his location pose “an imminent danger to our health” after a coworker tested positive for COVID-19. 

Fast-food workers plan to strike on Tuesday in Chicago, in response to McDonald’s and other companies’ response to the coronavirus pandemic. 

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