Belton Golden Chick customers who ordered food there late last week may have been exposed to COVID-19, the Bell County Public Health District announced.
Two employees at the fried chicken establishment, 610 E. Sixth Ave., tested positive for COVID-19, according to the health district.
“A public notice is necessary because of the difficulty associated with the contact tracing of one of the employees,” said Bell County Public Health Director Amanda Robison-Chadwell.
If you visited the Belton Golden Chick recently, contact the health district at 254-773-4457 and ask for epidemiology, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The first employee was asymptomatic and tested positive Saturday. The public’s exposure to that worker was limited, according to a news release. The second employee was symptomatic and tested positive Tuesday.
The restaurant closed Sunday for sanitation and has remained closed, said Golden Chick spokeswoman Julia Monter. She said the company learned after business hours Saturday that an employee had tested positive.
“The safety of our Golden Chick employees and guests always has been and remains our number one priority. We have been working diligently with the local health department as soon as we became aware of our positive employee COVID-19 case on May 16. Our Belton location immediately closed for a deep clean and our employees were advised to stay home and self-quarantine if they had any symptoms. We look forward to serving the community of Belton again soon when it is safe for our employees and guests," Monter said.
The confirmation of the fast food infections came as health officials said five more Bell County residents had contracted COVID-19. The county has at least 248 cases, according to the health district.
The Texas Department of State Health Services reported Bell County’s Tuesday total was 260 — a 12-person increase since Monday. That figure includes coronavirus-positive Fort Hood residents.
CORYELL, LAMPASAS COUNTIES
Coryell County reported 226 cases of the new coronavirus on Tuesday afternoon. That is two more cases than reported Monday.
Of the 226 confirmed cases, 157 are Texas Department of Criminal Justice inmates, 30 county residents have recovered and there have been two deaths, said Coryell County Emergency Management Coordinator Robert Harrell. The remaining 37 cases are all active.
Lampasas County has nine confirmed cases, seven of them active. There have been no reported deaths due to coronavirus reported in Lampasas County.
At least two other fast food restaurants in Belton had confirmed coronavirus cases.
Most recently, an employee of Pizza Hut, 400 Neil St., tested positive and may have exposed customers to the contagious virus. No positive cases have resulted from that, Robison-Chadwell previously said. Around 50 people contacted the health district about possibly being exposed to the coronavirus.
Whataburger, 307 N. Interstate 35 in Belton, had an employee test positive in mid-April. The health district said earlier this month no customers were exposed to COVID-19 in that instance.
Businesses are not required to publicly disclose infections among their staff.
“Individual restaurants may share when an employee tests positive for COVID-19, if they wish,” Robison-Chadwell said earlier this month. “At the Health District, we remain committed to respecting the private medical rights of individuals and will limit naming a private business unless there is a clear public benefit.”
The health district reported Tuesday an additional 1,861 coronavirus tests have been performed in Bell County. That brings the county’s testing total to 15,181.
The health district did not report any new recoveries Tuesday. So far, 150 residents have recovered from COVID-19.
Herald reporter Hunter King contributed to this report.