Port Elgin McDonald’s Covid case found to be indeterminate and no threat to public

There was an indeterminate case of COVID-19 at McDonald’s Restaurant in Port Elgin (Saugeen Shores) reported on Saturday June 27th to the Health Unit.

McDonald’s Canada temporarily closed overnight on June 27th after an employee reported presumably positive for COVID-19.  During the overnight closure the restaurant completely sanitized and re-opened the next morning (June 28th).

In a Grey Bruce Health Unit report, the protocol is to investigate each ‘Probable or Indeterminate Case’ with the same rigour as a ‘Confirmed Positive’. The Infectious Disease team at the Grey Bruce Health Unit completed the required Case and Contact Management as per public health protocols within three hours of receiving the lab result and ensured all close contacts are safe and acting appropriately to prevent further transmission.

“Public Health is leading this ‘Outbreak Investigation’, and the Infectious Disease team is working with the restaurant to ensure all safety practices are in place.”

Closing the workplace was not directed nor recommended by Public Health. In any event, disinfection is required by all workplaces on an on-going basis before the identification of a case. Because test results take three or more days to come back from the lab and, because the virus left on surfaces may not survive more than two days, the reporting of a case should not warrant closure to disinfect nor increased disinfection.

At this time, there is no need for the public to be concerned as all or any close contacts are managing their isolation, if required. Further precautions will be communicated and taken as needed.  If an individual had connection to the restaurant as a worker or as a customer, and was not contacted by public health, there is no need to be concerned.

“I want to reassure the public and employers that Public Health conducts outbreak investigations, and manages outbreaks in the community including in workplaces on a regular basis,” says Medical Officer of Health (MOH), Dr. Ian Arra. “If the need be, we work with the employer to prevent further transmission. With every workplace related case identified in Grey and Bruce there has been a thorough assessment of the risk of transmission in the workplace. If there was a potential risk of transmission, full response and control is implemented. The lack of hospitalization and death shows the high success rate of our outbreak management. We owe this success to the Infectious Disease Team.”