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Surge in testing identifies no new cases in food service workers

Last week a rise in COVID-19 cases associated with food service workers, such as McDonald’s and Tim Hortons, prompted KFL&A Public Health to issue a memo to food premises operators recommending staff get tested.

As a result of this surveillance initiative, visits to the KFL&A area COVID-19 assessment centres increased by 1.5 times between Thursday, Nov. 19 to Wednesday, Nov. 25, according to a release from KFL&A Public Health dated Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. A total of 3,951 individuals (both symptomatic and asymptomatic) were assessed during this week compared to 2,531 individuals having been assessed the previous week.

Public Health shared the good news that the surveillance testing initiative did not identify additional cases. With thorough investigation and contact tracing, high-risk contacts were identified early, and self-isolated, preventing the spread of the virus, Public Health said in the release.

In total there were 15 positive cases and 1 outbreak associated with food service premises. KFL&A Public Health says the outbreak has resolved as of today, Friday, Nov. 27, 2020.

“A big thank you to all those that got tested and to the businesses for supporting this surveillance initiative to protect the health of their staff and to prevent the spread of infection in our community,” said Dr. Kieran Moore, Medical Officer of Health at KFL&A Public Health. “I want the community to know that through our collective actions, our businesses and restaurants remain safe for dining inside, on the patio, or when getting take-out. They have good practices in place to screen and protect their workers and patrons, and to limit the spread of this virus. Stay safe, stay local, and support your local businesses.”

KFL&A Public Health urges everyone in the KFL&A community to do their part to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Stay home if you have any symptoms of illness, however mild, and continue to practice precautionary measures and behaviours such as hand hygiene, cough etiquette, wearing a face covering where required and appropriate, and physical distancing. 

To learn more about COVID-19, how you can protect yourself, and what to do if you suspect you may be at risk, visit www.Kflaph.ca/Coronavirus or visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.

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