‘No danger to customers’ says head of McDonalds after 12 stores close due to driver testing positive for COVID-19
The head of McDonald’s Australia says there have been no infections among staff after a delivery driver tested positive for coronavirus, forcing the closure of 12 stores in Victoria.”It is a difficult decision, but it is the right one to make,” McDonald’s Australia CEO Andrew Gregory told Today on Monday.The driver, who worked for an external service provider, delivered to all 12 outlets in Melbourne’s north west and interacted with “a small number” of employees, McDonald’s Australia said in a statement.
“He was asymptomatic when he made these deliveries, and he was obviously unaware that he was infected,” Mr Gregory said.No customers were at risk, he said.”There is no danger to customers. The way we have operated, with the measures we have operated, with the measures we have put in place and also on advice from the Department of Health, our customers are safe.”But he didn’t rule out the possibility other stores might be forced to close.
“We have identified all those restaurants and, look, the chances of further infections – it is possible, but the actions we are taking are about making sure we minimise further infections.”We will be deep cleaning restaurants and we will make sure it will open with staff not from those restaurants.”All staff who came in contact with the infected driver have been contacted and told to self-isolate.
At the time, the driver was asymptomatic and unaware they had contracted COVID-19.Victoria’s premier Daniel Andrews said the situation showed how “dynamic” coronavirus was when speaking about the lifting of restrictions.”This spreads really fast,” Mr Andrews said on Monday. “You can feel perfectly fine, have no symptoms and not be unwell in any way.”This is dynamic and you have got to do it smart. I know it is frustrating. Everyone would like all the rules to go yesterday but that’s not the responsible thing to do.”The infected driver had also worked at another restaurant, at Craigieburn, which was closed last week after an employee was diagnosed.”Potential close contacts and employees who have worked specific shifts during and after the truck driver’s delivery have been instructed not to return to work for 14 days and advised to be tested,” the statement said. READ MORE: Coronavirus Live updates“The Department of Health has identified the truck driver as a workplace close contact of the previously announced Craigieburn COVID-19 case.”The closed restaurants will be deep cleaned and re-opened, pending the availability of replacement staff, the firm said.This morning, a delivery driver turned up at one of the closed restaurants, and said they had not been informed of the shut-down.