Macomb restaurants closed by health department

Door of Taco Bell in Macomb

MACOMB, Ill. (NEWS3) — Two businesses in Macomb have been closed by the county health department for what they’re calling health risk factors.

McDonough County Health Department Deputy Public Information Officer Stefanie Johnson said Taco Bell on West Jackson Street and Kentucky Fried Chicken on East Jackson Street were closed by the health department earlier this week.

Johnson said the health department posted a closure sign on Taco Bell’s door Monday which read, “By order of the McDonough County Board of Health this facility has been closed. It is unlawful to operate a food handling establishment on these premises without prior written approval from the McDonough County Health Department. This sign may be removed only by an authorized representative of the McDonough County Health Department.”

Johnson told NEWS3 the fast-food chain was closed due to health risk factors. She could not confirm if someone who works at the restaurant tested positive for COVID-19. Johnson said the health department closed Taco Bell for a violation of two health risk factors, employee health and training and cleaning and sanitizing.

Johnson said the health department will reopen the restaurant once the risk factors are corrected and the health department approves inspection.

NEWS3 reached out to the store but has not received a phone call back.

KFC had the same sign placed on its door Wednesday by the health department.

Door of KFC in Macomb on East Jackson

Johnson said in an email to NEWS3 she could not confirm or deny a rumor of a positive case of COVID-19 in the restaurant, but did say KFC closed in cooperation with an order from the health department. She did not say which risk factors the fast-food chain was violating.

“We are working with the local management to address the public health risk factors that exist there that prompted the closure, as well as to ensure all employees have reviewed and understand the sick employee policies of the facility,” Johnson said.

Johnson said a person is not considered in “close contact” with someone unless they are within six feet of that person for at least 10 minutes.

“So customers or clients are generally not considered contacts, unless there are special circumstances where more contact was involved,” Johnson said. “COVID-19 is not known to be a foodborne illness, so there is no known risk of people contracting it from food if a food worker did have COVID-19. Any work place that has an onsite employee who tests positive for COVID-19 needs to thoroughly clean and sanitize according to CDC guidance, and close contacts will be notified through the contact investigation procedures for quarantine.”

Just like Taco Bell, Johnson said the restaurant can be reopened by the health department once the risk factors are addressed.

There was also a sign on the door about the restaurant being temporarily closed for maintenance.

NEWS3 also called KFC but never heard back.

Casey’s on West Jackson is also closed, but Johnson told NEWS3 the convenience store “closed on their own accord.”

“We have been in consultation with the management to provide support and education,” Johnson said.

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health’s (IDPH) website, the zip code for the city of Macomb has 37 confirmed coronavirus cases out of 279 tests.

McDonough County reported three new cases Thursday, bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases to 46.

The IDPH reported a total of 70,873 cases, including 3,111 deaths Thursday. The state saw an increase of 2,641 new cases and 138 additional deaths Thursday.

Below are current COVID-19 test results in surrounding counties around the NEWS3 viewing area:

  • McDonough County: 46 positive (4 recovered), 2 death, 453 negative, 87 pending
  • Schuyler County: 3 positive (1 recovered), 71 negative, 0 pending
  • Hancock County: 12 positive (5 recovered) (1 hospitalized), 160 negative, 20 pending
  • Warren County: 92 positive, 200 negative and unknown pending
  • Fulton County: 3 positive (1 recovered), 209 negative, unknown pending
  • Knox County: 63 positive, 290 negative, 120 pending
  • Adams County: 40 positive (27 recovered), 1 death, 1,134 negative, 111 pending