COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KDVR) — The number of Colorado In-N-Out Burger employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 since Dec. 6 has grown to 122.
According to outbreak data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, there have been 80 cases among staff at the Colorado Springs location and 42 cases among employees at the Aurora restaurant. That is up from 60 and 20 cases last week, respectively.
Following the outbreaks, the state encouraged Coloradans to wear a mask when using drive-thrus.
No COVID-19 deaths among employees have been reported.
Both In-N-Out locations opened on Nov. 20 to massive lines. In Aurora, people waited 14 hours for burgers.
In-N-Out Vice President Denny Warnick said in a statement to FOX31 on Thursday:
“We remain committed to doing our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
While state reporting of COVID-19 cases is subject to a delay while data is compiled, at the present time we are experiencing a substantial improvement in the number of our Associates testing positive for COVID-19 at both of our Colorado locations. However, we are concerned when any member of our Associate family is affected and we will continue to take action to keep our teams as safe as possible.
We continue to work closely with our public health agencies to review and confirm that the proactive steps we are taking are appropriate and effective in protecting our communities. Some of those precautions include limiting staff to the minimum necessary number, using staff “cohorts” to limit possible exposure, and limiting dining room access to takeout orders only to ensure appropriate physical distancing. If an Associate does test positive, we take immediate steps to identify, and exclude from work, anyone that may have been in close contact with the individual.
The actions that we will continue to take in our Colorado restaurants are guided by our commitment to protect the health and safety of our Customers and Associates.”
The restaurant chain is planning to open a third location in Lone Tree in January, however no word if the outbreaks will setback its opening date. UFCW Local 7 President and UFCW International Vice President, Kim Cordova, said Thursday that all employers must be held responsible for the health and safety of their employees.
“With the skyrocketing confirmed case numbers at the two In-N-Out locations in Colorado, a number of actions should be taken by the employer to ensure the safety of their employees and all Coloradans,” Cordova said.
“These actions should include: providing high-quality PPE to workers, enforcing strict social distancing measures for business operations and customers, in-store capacity limits, consistent cleaning protocols, and paid leave for workers to stop the spread of this deadly virus.”