The McDonald’s in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia has been closed since Thursday due to Covid.
“We had a couple of workers about ten days ago with Covid and we decided on our own out of caution to close the restaurant and to clean it thoroughly,” a manager at the local McDonald’s said this morning.
The McDonald’s plans to reopen about 2 pm on Tuesday, she said.
Stanley Neal owns the Berkeley Springs McDonald’s and a string of others in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia and Western Maryland.
“No business is immune to the ongoing threat of COVID-19, and our highest priority is to protect the health and well-being of our employees and customers,” Neal said in a statement released by McDonald’s headquarters in Chicago. “We recently learned that an employee at our restaurant in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia tested positive for the coronavirus last Thursday.”
“As soon as we were notified of the confirmed case, we alerted local public health authorities who strongly recommended that we close our doors for at least 72 hours,” Neal said. “In compliance, the restaurant was promptly closed to endure a thorough sanitization procedure and will re-open tomorrow afternoon.”
“We also identified and reached out to all restaurant staff who had been in close contact with the employee who contracted the virus. These employees have been asked to self-quarantine to ensure they remain healthy before returning to work. We have been in contact with our employee and are providing support during this time. Our people are the heart and soul of our McDonald’s family. We are keeping this employee in our thoughts for a fast and full recovery.”
Bill Kearns of the Morgan County Health Department said this morning that he didn’t know about the Berkeley Springs McDonald’s case.
“But we have had employees of stores and restaurants that have had Covid,” Kearns said on WRNR’s Eastern Panhandle Talk with Rob and Dave this morning. “If you just have one case or so, you close down for a while and do a thorough deep cleaning. We consider two or more cases to be an outbreak.”
“At that point, we need to do an outbreak investigation, which takes a little bit longer. During the times of Covid when we are having sometimes 100 or more people testing positive every day (in Berkeley and Morgan counties), we know there are going to be some of those people working in restaurants,” Kearns said. “They are taking a pro-active approach and they close. They close on their own. It’s not by order of the health department. They make sure everything is deep cleaned and the staff are taken care of to keep everyone safe.”
The health department wouldn’t say whether an outbreak investigation had been opened.
Morgan County Covid cases have been spiking in recent weeks, with 468 confirmed cases and two deaths, an infection rate (number of new cases per 100,000) in recent days of over 70 and and a percent positivity rate (number of confirmed lab tests that are positive) of over 8 percent. That has put Morgan County back in the red, which means that Morgan County schools will not be open for in person instruction this week.