Coronavirus Cases at McDonald's, Taco Bell, Among 80 'Active Workplace Outbreaks' in Oregon

The number of novel coronavirus cases in Oregon is approaching 22,100. Dozens of "active workplace outbreaks with five or more confirmed COVID-19 cases" have been reported at several major food and retail chains, including McDonald's, Taco Bell, In-N-Out Burger, Walmart and Home Depot, according to the latest report Wednesday by the Oregon Health Authority (OHA).

A workplace is considered to have an active outbreak when "there has been a case within the past 28 days," the report said.

The OHA's list of active workplace outbreaks only includes case data for workplaces with at least 30 employees and where there have been five or more cases. If more than 50 percent of the workers are infected, specific case numbers will not be reported, the OHA advised.

"Case counts include all persons linked to the outbreak, which may include household members and other close contacts," the report said.

An In-N-Out Burger restaurant in the city of Keizer was the latest workplace in Marion County to join the OHA's list of active workplace outbreaks. Five employees were reported to be infected, with the most recent onset documented on July 29. An investigation of an outbreak at the restaurant began on July 18.

The burger restaurant remains open for dine-in and drive-thru services.

Active workplace outbreaks were reported at two McDonald's restaurants (one in Stanfield, one in Hermiston) with a total of 31 cases, a Taco Bell restaurant in Hermiston (five cases), two Walmart stores (one in Hermiston, one in Ontario) with a total of 47 cases, a Home Depot in Hermiston (nine cases), and a string of other businesses, the report confirmed.

"Unless otherwise noted, public health officials have determined that these workplaces, their workers and their products do not pose significant risk to the public," the report said.

"This list of outbreaks will be updated as investigations continue, and we learn about epidemiologic links between cases. This list may not reflect all the workplace outbreaks in Oregon," the report added.

Eight COVID-19 deaths have been associated with the active workplace outbreaks in the latest OHA report. "To protect patient privacy, OHA does not report employee deaths by workplace," the report advised.

McDonald's, Hillsborough, New Jersey, April 2020
A sign at a McDonald's restaurant in Hillsborough, New Jersey pictured on April 24, 2020. Getty Images

All suspected workplace outbreaks are required to be reported to the local public health authority, the OHA noted.

New cases continue to emerge across Oregon. The three-day moving average of daily new cases mostly flattened from around late March to May 25, after which it began to mostly increase on a sharper incline, according to the latest report Wednesday from Johns Hopkins University.

Over 20.6 million people globally have been infected since the virus was first reported in Wuhan, China, including more than 5.1 million in the U.S. Over 12.8 million globally have reportedly recovered from infection, while over 749,500 have died, as of Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The graphic below, provided by Statista, illustrates the spread of COVID-19 cases in the U.S.

Spread of COVID-19 U.S.

The graphic below, provided by Statista, illustrates countries with the most COVID-19 cases.

Countries with most COVID-19 cases
The spread of COVID-19 cases across the globe. STATISTA