KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV) - The Wyandotte County Health Department has a website listing any place with five or more cases. KCTV5 News has told you about the nursing homes and churches, but it’s not just them on the list.
The owner of El Torito at 14th and Central says it all started about three weeks ago, when a man who works at the butcher counter got sick and tested positive for COVID-19.
The owner, Octavio Sosa, says he responded by closing that portion of the store for eight days while awaiting test results from the rest of the staff.
“We got all, everybody got tested. Employees on second shift, third shift, to make sure that everybody’s safe,” El Torito De La Central Owner Octavio Sosa said.
A total of 16 people tested positive and all, but the first man showed no symptoms.
“The other guys who came positive, they’re still at home. They’re not here working,” Sosa said.
There’s no disputing the biggest and most deadly outbreak in the county has been at Riverbend Post-Acute Rehabilitation Facility with 132 confirmed cases and 36 deaths.
Another widespread outbreak was at a Regional Minister’s Conference at a Kansas City, Kansas, church where there were 55 positive cases and seven deaths.
Recent headlines have focused on meat packing plants, like Triumph Foods in St. Joseph that tested all willing staff and found 400-plus coming back positive.
What’s garnered less attention is a smaller Kansas City steak company. Majority owned by National Beef has reported 34 cases to the health department, the most recent just last week.
A Kellogg’s Bakery on Sunshine Road has had 19 reported cases over two weeks in April.
Kellogg Company Spokesperson Kris Bahner sent KCTV5 News a statement.
“If or when a Kellogg employee has a confirmed case of COVID-19, our first consideration will continue to be their health and safety, and that of their families and colleagues. We have effective protocols in place – following CDC and WHO guidelines – to prevent the transmission of the virus, including enhanced sanitization, social distancing, temperature checks, mandatory face coverings and other precautions at our manufacturing facilities, as well as a business-critical visitor policy. We also have protocols in place to inform and protect the plant community, including anyone who might have been in close contact with the affected individual and ensure the safe continuation of operations.”
As for El Torito, the owner says all those who tested negative got a second round of tests on Friday, to account for incubation time.
“We got 30 people working right now that got tested again and they were negative again,” Sosa said.
He says the man who was sick was just cleared by the health department to return, but he’s waiting until his co-workers feel safe. Meanwhile, Sosa says they’re taking daily precautions, including temperature checks of staff.
“Every single shift we are taking the temperatures. We are recording all that. Gloves, masks and sanitize every night and fogging the whole store,” Sosa said.