McDonald's closes Black Country restaurant after staff test positive for Covid-19
McDonald's has temporarily closed a Black Country restaurant after staff members tested positive for Covid-19.
Bosses decided to shut down the restaurant next to the Black Country New Road in Great Bridge following positive tests for five employees.
It comes after Sandwell saw a surge in coronavirus cases over the past week, prompting public heath bosses to say the borough was "halfway" to a local lockdown.
Latest rates of infection in the region:
Average number of new cases per 100,000 people for the seven days to July 26.
Figures show rate for seven days to July 26 followed by equivalent figure for the previous seven days to July 19.
Data for the most recent three days (July 27-29) has been excluded as it is incomplete and likely to be revised.
- Sandwell 32.4 v 23.2
- Wolverhampton 15.3 v 5.0
- Birmingham 13.1 v 12.6
- Walsall 6.7 v 11.3
- South Staffordshire 5.4 v 2.7
- Dudley 5.0 v 1.2
- Stafford 2.9 v 3.7
The rate of new coronavirus cases in the borough in the week to July 26 - the latest period with reliable data - reached 32.4 per 100,000 people compared to 23.2 the week before, with 106 new cases confirmed.
Only five parts of England had higher rates of infection during that week.
The positive cases at the Great Bridge McDonald's are understood to have come to light in the past 48 hours and thus will not be included in those statistics
McDonald's says it does not yet know when the site next to Asda and KFC on Brickhouse Lane South will reopen and that all other branches in the borough remain unaffected.
A McDonald’s spokesman said: "We have proactively decided to temporarily close our Great Bridge restaurant as a precautionary measure following a rise of Covid-19 cases in the local area with five of our employees testing positive.
"We have been in contact with all the restaurant employees and also with Public Health England and the Environmental Health Officer. As with all of the decisions we have made across this unprecedented period, the safety of our people and customers is our absolute priority, and we will re-open as soon as we feel we can.”
More Covid-19 coverage:
- Video shows packed beer garden at pub at centre of Covid-19 outbreak
- Fears grow over local lockdowns for Sandwell and Wolverhampton
- Warning after small rise in Covid-19 cases in Dudley
- Latest number of coronavirus deaths and confirmed cases in your area
- See all the latest coronavirus news at expressandstar.com/covid19
Public Health data now shows there were 25 new coronavirus cases confirmed in Sandwell on July 20, the highest daily figure since April 29 when 28 new cases were recorded.
And in the five days up to July 24 there were 84 new cases in the borough, the biggest five-day total since mid-May and a 10-fold increase on the last week in June.
The borough has now had 1,848 cases confirmed since the start of the pandemic.
McDonald's closed all 1,350 of its restaurants in the UK and Ireland on March 23 in a bid to mitigate the spread of the virus.
They started to reopen to walk-in customers at the start of this month.
Meanwhile dozens of people have been getting tested for coronavirus in Stone after more than 10 cases were confirmed among people with links to a pub which was "overwhelmed" with customers earlier this month.
Health bosses in Dudley have also issued a warning after the rate of infection in the borough increased from 1.2 to 5.0 cases per 100,000 people, however this rate is still six times lower than the rate in neighbouring Sandwell and lower than any part of the Black Country or Birmingham.
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