Colorado In-N-Out Burgers linked to 80 coronavirus cases, 25 infections ‘probable,’ health agency says

SAN FRANCISCO, UNITED STATES - 2020/01/23: American regional chain of fast food restaurants In-N-Out Burger sign seen at one of their restaurants. (Photo by Alex Tai/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

At least 80 In-N-Out Burger employees have tested positive for coronavirus, according to data published by the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment on Wednesday.

The outbreak has been linked to the chain’s two restaurants in Arapahoe County and El Paso County, both of which opened last month.

Another 25 employees are potentially infected, but they have not been tested, according to the agency’s weekly report.

The employees who have tested positive along with the employees who had close contact with them "have been excluded from the workplace," In-N-Out’s Vice President of Operations Denny Warnick said in a statement.

"Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of our Customers and Associates.  We are committed to doing our part in preventing the transmission of the COVID-19 virus," Warnick said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with our Associates and we are hopeful for quick recoveries for each of those affected."

In-N-Out Burger is reportedly working with public health agencies and has "confirmed the appropriate steps" to take in response to the current pandemic.

This includes limiting staff capacity in restaurants, minimizing contact with customers, reserving dining room access for takeout orders, ensuring social distancing and providing hand sanitizer at every location.

Additionally, self-service drink stations are temporarily closed while contactless payment options are available.


Employees are required to wash their hands and disinfect restaurant surfaces regularly. Health screenings and temperature checks are administered before shifts, however, employees who feel sick are advised to stay home per In-N-Out’s COVID-19 policy.

As of Thursday, the state of Colorado has reported more than 319,500 coronavirus cases, according to Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Dashboard.

An estimated 4,550 people have passed away due to complications associated with the respiratory illness. Meanwhile, close to 17,000 Colorado residents have recovered.

The state has passed several public health and executive orders encouraging residents to wear protective face masks, social distance and limit outings on a need-be basis while avoiding unnecessary gatherings.

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