BEAUMONT, Texas — Eleven more Chick-Fil-A employees in Beaumont tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total to 15, Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick confirmed Friday evening.
Southeast Texas Regional Emergency Operation Center officials said at a news conference Monday, April 20, more than 100 employees from two Beaumont Chick-Fil-A locations were tested for COVID-19.
103 employees tested negative for the novel coronavirus, Branick said Friday, April 24.
Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick initially said 114 employees were tested as of Monday morning, and four had tested positive before the Monday afternoon news conference.
Chick-Fil-A's locations on Dowlen Road and College Street have been closed for several days.
"So yesterday, we got with Beaumont Emergency Management and went over to the old fire station on College and set up tables and things necessary, cones and all that," Branick said Monday. "And they began testing the 114 employees of the two Chick-Fil-A locations this morning at 9."
He says the tests were completed by about 1 p.m. on Monday 'using a private contract medical care facility.'
Southeast Texas physician Gary Mennie says it's important to remember that even when using a drive-thru, you are still interacting with people who could be carrying the virus.
"You have to roll your window down and you have to interact with that person. There not passing it with a ten foot stick over to you," Dr. Mennie said.
He is discourages at how few people are wearing masks.
"The number of people in the market without masks on still, it really amazes me," Mennie said.
He encourages people who may have visited those Chick-Fil-A locations recently to call the hotline to be screened for testing. If you aren't showing symptoms, chances are you won't be tested.
The Parkdale Mall location will offer curbside pickup and drive-thru orders in the parking lot near the food court on the west side of the mall on Tuesday from 10:30 a.m. until 7 p.m.
Chick-Fil-A's locations in Orange and Port Arthur are still open.
The symptoms of coronavirus can be similar to the flu or a bad cold. Symptoms include a fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Some patients also have nausea, body aches, headaches and stomach issues. Losing your sense of taste and/or smell can also be an early warning sign.
Most healthy people will have mild symptoms. A study of more than 72,000 patients by the Centers for Disease Control in China showed 80 percent of the cases there were mild.
But infections can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death, according to the World Health Organization. Older people with underlying health conditions are most at risk for becoming seriously ill. However, U.S. experts are seeing a significant number of younger people being hospitalized, including some in ICU.
The CDC believes symptoms may appear anywhere from two to 14 days after being exposed.
Human coronaviruses are usually spread through...
- The air by coughing or sneezing
- Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
- Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.
Help stop the spread of coronavirus
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Eat and sleep separately from your family members
- Use different utensils and dishes
- Cover your cough or sneeze with your arm, not your hand.
- If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash.
- Follow social distancing
Lower your risk
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- If you are 60 or over and have an underlying health condition such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes or respiratory illnesses like asthma or COPD, the World Health Organization advises you to try to avoid crowds or places where you might interact with people who are sick.
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