Kingston restaurant worker testing blitz yields no new COVID-19 cases

KINGSTON, ONT. — A special testing blitz by Kingston health officials targeting food service workers has ended with no new cases of COVID-19 discovered.

The special blitz between Nov. 19 and Nov. 25 had asked restaurant employees to get tested after a number of workers connected to food establishments tested positive for the virus two weeks ago, including an outbreak at a downtown McDonald’s.

Officials with Kingston Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Public had asked all restaurant workers to get tested and said on Friday that its “surveillance testing initiative did not identify additional cases.” 

“With thorough investigation and contact tracing, high-risk contacts were identified early, and self-isolated preventing the spread of the virus,” the health unit said in a statement.

In total there were 15 positive cases linked to food service facilities and the one previously mentioned outbreak, which was officially declared over on Friday. 

“A big thank you to all those that got tested and to the businesses for supporting this surveillance initiative to protect the health of their staff and to prevent the spread of infection in our community,” Dr. Kieran Moore, Medical Officer of Health at KFL&A Public Health said in a news release.

“I want the community to know that through our collective actions, our businesses and restaurants remain safe for dining inside, on the patio, or when getting take-out. They have good practices in place to screen and protect their workers and patrons, and to limit the spread of this virus.” 

Moore asked residents to continue to follow public health advice and to shop local, as he said businesses have been doing well in keeping up with COVID-19 guidelines to keep staff and patrons safe. 

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