‘Messy situation and a lot of questions’ as Stockport McDonald’s temporarily closes due to coronavirus outbreak


Public health officials said a “full risk assessment” would be undertaken following a Covid-19 outbreak among staff at a McDonald’s branch in Stockport – while an MP voiced concerns concerns about how the tracking and tracing system would remedy the situation. The Wellington Road South branch was temporarily closed on Sunday after five employees tested positive.

McDonald’s said all employees had been made aware of the situation, as well as Public Health England and the environmental health official.

All staff who worked from July 22 were asked to self-isolate.

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The latest figures from Public Health England show that Stockport’s coronavirus infection rate more than tripled, from 8.2 infections per 100,000 on July 22 to 26 per 100,000 a week later.

Public health officials at the Stockport Council released a statement this morning that did not address the McDonald’s name, but described the general response to Covid-19 outbreaks in hospitality settings across the region.

Jennifer Connolly, Acting Director of Public Health for Stockport Council, said: “Our thanks to all of these hospitality facilities in Stockport who work hard to operate in a safe and secure manner.

“This includes informing us immediately if any cases are identified regarding the location, in order to allow rapid action.

“A full risk assessment will be undertaken for any reception location where positive cases have been reported.

“After that, people who have been in close contact with anyone who has tested positive will be contacted and advised of the need to self-isolate for 14 days.

“In the meantime, if someone is showing symptoms, you and your household should self-isolate and arrange to be tested.

McDonalds on Wellington Road South closed Sunday

It was not immediately clear whether customers who have visited McDonald’s will be considered to have been in “close contact” with staff who have tested positive.

It is understood that McDonald’s was only open to customers for drive-thru and deliveries to be picked up from UberEats and JustEat drivers.

Stockport MP Navendu Mishra called on the council to issue “specific guidance”.

He told the Manchester Evening News : “The government’s test and traceability system is clearly not working.

“The epidemic at Stockport McDonald’s is a messy situation.

“There are a lot of questions.

“My main concern is with the people who emailed me and have family members working there.

“I was told that McDonald’s knew of positive cases last Monday and that it took six days to close the branch.

“I know the council has been working very hard during the pandemic – but it would help to issue specific guidance. ”

Responding to concerns about the time it took to close the restaurant, a McDonald’s spokesperson said today: “Following three employees who tested positive at our restaurant in Stockport last week, we consulted with Public Health England to review the facts and share the actions taken by the restaurant, including a thorough cleaning by an outside company and contacting all affected employees.

“After confirming to Public Health England that our initial measures were in line with guidelines, we then made the proactive decision over the weekend to temporarily close the restaurant as a precautionary measure after two more employees informed the restaurant that they had tested positive.

“We have been in contact with all of the restaurant employees and also keep in regular contact with Public Health England and the Environmental Health Officer.

“As with all decisions we have made during this unprecedented time, the safety of our employees and customers is our top priority, and we will reopen as soon as we deem possible.

“We are writing to MP for Navendu Mishra, to give him an overview of the security measures and policies we have in place, and the process that has been undertaken in this case. ”

The government’s tracking and traceability system for the coronavirus has come under constant criticism since its introduction in early June.

Today, Blackburn’s director of public health with Darwen council Dominic Harrison said the authority is developing its own local tracing system.

“The national system just isn’t tracking enough cases and contacts fast enough,” he tweeted.

“We start with ‘case finding’.”

Professor Kate Ardern, Senior Director of Public Health in Greater Manchester, replied: “Exactly what we did at GM too. ”

Coronavirus infection rates are rising in nine of Greater Manchester’s ten boroughs, leading authorities to declare a ‘major incident’ over the weekend.

A McDonald’s spokesperson said yesterday: “We have proactively decided to temporarily close our Stockport restaurant as a precautionary measure following an increase in Covid-19 cases in the region with five of our employees testing positive.

“We have been in contact with all the restaurant employees as well as with Public Health England and the environmental health manager.

“As with all decisions we have made during this unprecedented time, the safety of our employees and customers is our top priority, and we will reopen as soon as we feel possible.

The Stockport board has released the following information for anyone wishing to get tested for the coronavirus:

“If anyone would like to get tested, you can do so by sending an email to [email protected] via www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119.

“If you are positive you will have to isolate yourself for 10 days, and the rest of your household for 14 days.

“Please note that if you are contacted and asked to self-isolate because you have had close contact with someone confirmed to have coronavirus, you will need to isolate even if you have had a recent negative test result.

“As a reminder, the best way to avoid becoming a contact is to keep a distance of 2m when socializing or traveling.

“For any further information on the coronavirus, including if you need help isolating yourself, is available at www.stockport.gov.uk/coronavirus”


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