Oakland McDonald’s ordered to step up COVID protections after 35 infected

Bay Area

This Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019 photo shows the exterior of a McDonald’s restaurant in Mebane, N.C. McDonald’s reports financial earns on Tuesday, Oct. 22. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — A judge ordered a McDonald’s restaurant in Oakland that was hit by a coronavirus outbreak that workers said infected 35 people to follow increased health and safety protocols to help stop the spread of the virus.

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Richard Seabolt issued a preliminary injunction on Thursday against the owners of the McDonald’s at 4514 Telegraph Ave., imposing 11 measures that include providing “adequate and sufficient masks” and gloves to employees.

The fast-food restaurant shut down on May 26 after 20 employees refused to report for work because of what they considered unsafe working conditions. Five workers filed a lawsuit, saying the restaurant didn’t follow health orders or take proper precautions to protect its workers. Several workers and their family members contracted the virus, they said.

The court order also requires the restaurant to allow employees who call in sick to stay home, send home employees who exhibit symptoms of the coronavirus or are quarantining while awaiting test results, and to follow state and local sick leave laws.

The eatery was also ordered to provide wellness checks and accurate temperature testing and to give employees breaks every 30 minutes to wash their hands.

The McDonald’s franchise reopened in July after agreeing to requirements in a temporary restraining order issued by the court, said B.J. Chisholm, an attorney for the workers. Those conditions were confirmed by the court on Thursday. They will remain in effect for six months.

No one answered the phone at the restaurant on Friday morning.

Owner VES McDonald’s could not be reached for comment.

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