UPDATE Feb. 19, 2:30 p.m.: Simcoe Muskoka Health Unit has updated the number of employees associated with the “food and beverage services” outbreak in Muskoka to seven.
McDonald’s Canada has confirmed that an employee at its restaurant on King William Street has tested positive for COVID-19.
According to the company’s COVID-19 tracker, an employee at that location who tested positive last worked on Feb. 14, 2021. It has not listed additional cases in Huntsville as of publication time.
Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit declared a workplace outbreak at a “food and beverage services” location in Muskoka on Feb. 17, but has not yet confirmed if it is McDonald’s.
When contacted by Doppler, the McDonald’s restaurant manager declined comment citing privacy. McDonald’s Canada has stated that it releases basic information “when we have been notified of an employee confirmed case of COVID-19 in our restaurants which results in a restaurant closure for cleaning and sanitization by a certified third party company.”
It advises “guests who may have visited the restaurant and have questions, [to] please take directions from your local public health experts.”
Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit does not divulge the names of workplaces with COVID cases unless it determines there is a risk to public safety. The health unit declared a COVID-19 outbreak involving seven staff members at a food and beverage services workplace somewhere in Muskoka on Feb. 17, initially with one employee; the number of staff members involved was updated to seven on Feb. 19. SMDHU has not confirmed if this outbreak is at the McDonald’s in Huntsville.
In an email response to Doppler, the health unit said, “There is no requirement for a business to notify its customers of cases. In the event of an outbreak where public health felt there was a risk to the public and no way to track contacts we would publicly share information in an effort to let people know.”
Doppler has also heard from community members who were notified through contact tracing of a McDonald’s employee who received a positive test result on Feb. 9. That employee has been self-isolating since developing symptoms earlier that week. There are unverified reports other employees at the same McDonald’s location who live in Simcoe County also tested positive the same week. We have not been able to verify if these earlier reports have been included in the outbreak total.
See a summary of Doppler’s COVID-19 coverage here.
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