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Waffle House employee has coronavirus, restaurant says

The employee works at a restaurant in Cherokee County, Georgia.

CANTON, Ga. —

An employee at a Waffle House has tested positive for coronavirus, according to the restaurant. That employee works at the restaurant at 1849 Marietta Highway in Canton, Georgia and the location is temporarily closed. 

“During the restaurant closure, we sanitized the restaurant thoroughly, using methods specifically designed to clean and disinfect,” Waffle House Director of Public Relations Njeri Boss said in a statement released to 11Alive. 

Waffle House said the employee last worked on March 1 and that the 12 co-workers who worked with that person were instructed to self-quarantine at their homes through Saturday, March 14. 

Waffle House said the associates that were scheduled to work during the quarantine period will be paid.

On Monday, Georgia’s governor’s office said there were 11 presumptive cases of the virus that are awaiting confirmation from the CDC. One of those cases was in Cherokee County. It is not immediately clear if this employee is the same case in Cherokee or if it is an additional case. 

When asked about this Waffle House employee, a spokesperson for the Georgia Department of Public Health said: “The Georgia Department of Public Health does not provide information about specific cases. For positive cases of COVID-19, DPH works to identify any contacts who may have been exposed while an individual is/was infectious. People who are identified as having been exposed are contacted directly by a DPH epidemiologist.” 

She added: “As with any infectious disease that may involve food service workers, the need to notify the public is based on risk and exposure, as deemed necessary through epidemiologic contact tracing.”

There are currently six confirmed cases of the virus in Georgia. There are three in Fulton County and one each in Cobb, Floyd and Polk counties, according to the office of the governor.

In Georgia, the risk of contracting COVID-19 remains low, according to officials. At 11Alive, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: www.11Alive.com/Coronavirus. 

Credit: WXIA
Confirmed coronavirus cases in Georgia as of March 9, 2020.

State and federal officials with the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are continually monitoring the spread of coronavirus in the United States. They are also working hand-in-hand with the World Health Organization to track the spread around the world. 

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