Asymptomatic Delivery Driver Causes McDonald’s Closures

Twelve McDonald’s stores in Victoria, Australia have been forced to close after a delivery driver tested positive for COVID-19.
Twelve McDonald’s stores in Victoria, Australia have been forced to close after a delivery driver tested positive for COVID-19.

May 18, 2020 - Around 1000 McDonald’s staff in Victoria, Australia, have been forced to take unpaid leave after an asymptomatic driver infected with COVID-19 made deliveries to twelve stores this week. Two hundred of these employees who were working at the time of the deliveries or shortly after have been asked to get tested for the coronavirus and stay at home for two weeks.

Delivery Driver Linked to Current McDonald’s Cluster

The closure of the stores has been done as an ‘abundance of caution’ and so far no employees have tested positive. However, the news follows a tricky few weeks for the fast-food chain after two stores in the Australian state were forced to close their doors after infected employees were linked to a COVID-19 cluster in the area. The stores in Fawkner and Craigieburn have been linked to at least thirteen cases to date.

The truck driver, who works for an external services provider and who was not experiencing any symptoms at the time of making the deliveries, is thought to be linked to one of the confirmed cases from the Craigieburn store.

The impacted restaurants will be closed and deep cleaned, before reopening in the coming days or weeks.

WHO Guidelines for Deliveries

Given the nature of delivery work, drivers are likely to come into contact with multiple different people and a variety of surfaces on any given day. The World Health Organization (WHO)recently released guidelines on receiving food deliveries during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the WHO, food businesses receiving deliveries should adhere to the following:

  • Frequent touch surfaces such as mobile devices, steering wheels and door handles should be treated with extra caution and cleaned and sanitized frequently
  • Drivers need to maintain physical distancing and not shake hands with the people receiving the delivered items
  • Drivers making deliveries to food premises should be asked to stay inside their vehicles and not assist with moving the goods onto the premises
  • Drivers should be supplied with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, disinfectant and paper towels and they must be asked to sanitize their hands before passing delivery documents over to the person signing off the delivery
  • Businesses may wish to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks and gloves to drivers
  • Drivers must clean and disinfect transport containers frequently, and care must be taken to protect food and other items from possible sources of contamination