At least 80 staff members at Colorado’s two new In-N-Out Burger restaurants have been infected with the coronavirus, part of two sprawling outbreaks identified Wednesday.
The two facilities — in Aurora and Colorado Springs — opened with much fanfare Nov. 20. Lines at both locations stretched around corners, and wait times stretched hours. Now, both are sites of outbreaks, according to data published by the state Department of Public Health and Environment.
Sixty staffers at the Colorado Springs location have been diagnosed with COVID and another nine are suspected of being infected.
Twenty workers in Aurora also have the virus, plus 16 others who likely are infected.
The data does not indicate patrons have been infected. The outbreak in Colorado Springs does not include the chain’s nearby distribution center, a spokesperson for the state health department said.
“We are closely monitoring these larger outbreaks in collaboration with local public health agencies,” the spokesperson said. “To prevent outbreaks, we need these businesses to ensure proper distancing and mask wearing. Customers also should be distanced and wear masks at all times, even when going through the drive thru. We all have a part to play in preventing the spread and keeping businesses open and as safe as possible.”
In a statement, In-N-Out vice president of operations Denny Warnick said all of the affected employees and their close contacts “have been excluded from the workplace.”
“We continue to work closely with our public health agencies and have confirmed the appropriate steps to help protect our communities,” he said, in a statement emailed to the Gazette. “These steps include: limiting staff to the minimum number necessary to serve our Customers, using staff “cohorts” to limit possible exposure, and limiting dining room access to takeout orders only while ensuring appropriate physical distancing.”
He added that employees are regularly screened — a process that includes a temperature check — before beginning their shifts.
Outside of the state’s prison system, which continues to battle significant outbreaks, the In-N-Out breakout in Colorado Springs is one of the more sizable in the state, with numbers similar to those at long-term care facilities.
This content was originally published here.