At least 15 Chick-fil-A employees in Southeast Texas have tested positive for COVID-19, forcing the chain to temporarily close two restaurants, according to local media reports and the Atlanta-based quick service chain.
“Beaumont, Texas College Street and Dowlen Road Restaurants are temporarily closed due to COVID-19,” the company told Nation's Restaurant News in a statement.
The chain declined to comment about the number of employees with coronavirus “out of respect and confidentiality for our team members.”
Several media reports over the last few days describe a cluster of cases at two Beaumont, Texas restaurants. On Friday, a TV station KBMT said local county authorities confirmed that “more Chick-Fil-A employees in Beaumont tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total to 15” in that region.
Franchise operator Robert Henckel said in a statement sent to NRN: “Our highest priority is the health of our Team Members and Guests. We are working directly with the Beaumont Health Department and following all guidance, including the temporary closure of our College Street and Dowlen Road Restaurants. We look forward to serving the community of Beaumont again soon.”
More than 100 employees from two Beaumont restaurants have been tested for the deadly virus, according KBMT, citing information from the Southeast Texas Regional Emergency Operation Center.
The Atlanta-based quick-service chain, like other restaurant companies, has been continuously evolving its safety measures in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Earlier this month, the chain began installing portable handwashing stations near drive-thru lanes so workers can wash their hands more frequently.
Chick-fil-A has also started distributing “face coverings” to workers in accordance with federal health recommendations.
For our most up-to-date coverage, visit the coronavirus homepage.
Learn lessons in leadership during a crisis from our panel of experts on Friday, May 1.
Contact Nancy Luna at [email protected]
Follow her on Twitter: @fastfoodmaven
Updated: This story has been edited to include an update from Chick-fil-A.