State now encouraging masks at Colorado drive-thrus

Coronavirus

AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — On the heels of two large outbreaks at Colorado’s two In-N-Out locations, state health officials are now asking people to wear masks in drive-thrus. 

New outbreak data shows 105 confirmed or probable COVID-19 cases among staff at the two restaurants, which are located in Aurora and Colorado Springs.

A state spokesperson says they are monitoring the outbreaks to see if customers have been impacted.

In a statement, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said the following: 

“We are closely monitoring these larger outbreaks in collaboration with local public health agencies. 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.”

At El Jefe Tacos and Burritos in Wheat Ridge, signs have greeted customers in the drive-thru for months, asking them to wear masks while interacting with staff.

“I was scared and I wanted to encourage more people to wear their masks,” says Amadita Romero. “I just feel it’s the wisest thing to do.”

Romero purchased the signs on Amazon and says for the most part, customers have been more than willing to mask up. 

“I have been working here since the start of the lockdown, and we’ve been safe,” she says. “That sign is definitely helping.”

While drive-thru interactions are typically quite short, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says people should wear masks in public whenever social distancing is difficult. That’s typically the case in the drive-thru, where social distancing is tough to control while exchanging money and food. 

“I hope they keep themselves safe, and keep me safe also,” says Romero. “They’re coming to see me give them a smile and good service, and I want to stick around and keep doing that.”

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