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Ontario County health department finds ‘small cluster’ of COVID-19 cases at Tim Hortons

Aug 11, 2020

The Ontario County public health department said Tuesday that it found a “small cluster” of three people with COVID-19 at a Tim Hortons in Canandaigua.

Credit Ontario County Department of Public Health

Each of the three is an employee at the restaurant, the health department said in a press release. “Employees are at the highest risk of contracting COVID-19 because of the difficulty in maintaining a six-foot radius from fellow workers,” the department said.

Public health workers have started contact tracing to determine whether the three infected employees spread the novel coronavirus to other people. The health department said it had placed several other workers at the Tim Hortons under quarantine for 14 days.

The risk to the public from the cluster is low, Ontario County public health director Mary Beer said. “Because of Tim Horton’s excellent COVID-19 prevention policies this small cluster has been identified and easily managed through isolation, quarantine and deep cleaning.”

The company’s adherence to public health guidance “may have saved lives in our community,” she said.

Despite the low risk from this particular cluster, Beer said the disease continues to circulate in the broader community. “If you go out in public, wear a mask,” she said. “Everyone should be alert for symptoms and seek out medical advice and testing if you become ill.”

Ontario County has recorded 354 cases of the novel coronavirus, according to the most recent data from the public health department. Fifty-four people have died of COVID-19 in the county.