Third McDonald’s location closes due to virus; number of cases associated with fast-food eateries hits 30

  • LAURA RUMINSKI/West Hawaii Today A sign on the Kona Commons McDonald's indicates the restaurant is closed.

A third Kona McDonald’s restaurant closed Sunday after an additional employee tested positive for COVID-19.

The new case is an employee at the McDonald’s location off Kuakini Highway, the Department of Health said Sunday. It brings the total number of confirmed cases associated with the Kuakini Highway, Kona Commons and Kona Walmart McDonald’s locations in Kailua-Kona to 30.

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To date, 18 employees and 12 household members have tested positive for the novel coronavirus since the first week of April.

The department said it is continuing to investigate the cluster of cases and is conducting contract tracing for new cases. Employees and family members, all of whom are in isolation or quarantine, are also being monitored.

Patrick Lim, owner-operator of the three locations, said his highest priority is “to protect the health and well-being of our people.”

“As soon as we were notified of the first confirmed cases, we immediately closed the restaurants to conduct a thorough sanitization procedure and notified The Hawaii State Department of Health. Additionally, we previously added protective barriers to limit contact in our restaurants,” he said in a prepared statement provided by the state. “We’ve identified and reached out to all restaurant staff who had been in close contact with the employees who contracted the virus and advised they self-quarantine for 14 days.

“Under the guidance of the Hawaii State Department of Health, we have offered universal testing to our employees at each location. We are continuing to work closely with the Hawaii Department of Health to ensure the safety of our crew and customers,” he continued.

The employee was the only COVID-19 case announced Sunday on Hawaii Island, according to the department. Hawaii County’s total case count now stands at 62 with 35 having been released from isolation.

Statewide, five other new positive cases of COVID-19 were reported; three on Oahu and two on Maui. Hawaii has now recorded 580 cases.

Meanwhile Sunday, the state announced a tenth death attributed to COVID-19. The man, who was in the 40-59-year age group, was a visitor from Washington state who had no previous medical conditions, but a history of travel, according to the COVID-19 Joint Information Center. He had been hospitalized for an extended period in serious condition at Maui Memorial Medical Center.

West Hawaii screening sites

• Alii Health Center, Kailua-Kona: From 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Patients need to call (808) 747-8327 ahead of time; walk-ins not accepted.

• Hamakua Health Center, Honokaa: From 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Patients need to call (808) 775-7204 ahead of time; walk-ins not accepted.

• Hamakua Kohala Health, Kapaau: From 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Patients need to call (808) 999-6326 ahead of time; walk-ins not accepted

• Kaiser Clinic, Kailua-Kona: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Kaiser patients only. Patients need to call (808) 334-4400 and speak to an advice nurse to be screened first; no walk-ins.

• Queen’s North Hawaii Community Hospital, Waimea: 24 hours a day, seven days a week; screening done in emergency room. For more information, call 881-4730.

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• West Hawaii Community Health Center, Kailua-Kona: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Patients are encouraged to call (808) 326-5629 ahead of time to be screened. Walk-ins are accepted. New patients are welcome with picture ID and insurance cards.

Source: Healthcare Association of Hawaii, www.hah.org.

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