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4 confirmed COVID-19 staff cases at Tim Hortons restaurant in Colborne, Ont.

A COVID-19 workplace outbreak has been declared at a Tim Hortons restaurant in Colborne, Ont. The Canadian Press file

A COVID-19 workplace outbreak has declared at a Tim Hortons restaurant in Colborne, Ont., the region’s health unit announced Wednesday after initially not revealing the location.

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit declared the outbreak Tuesday morning at the Tim Hortons on Big Apple Drive after two staff members tested positive and officials determined the exposure could have occurred in the workplace.

Read more: COVID-19: Outbreak declared at East Northumberland Secondary School in Brighton

There are now four confirmed cases among staff from that Tim Hortons, the health unit announced Wednesday afternoon. Colborne is approximately 25 kilometres east of Cobourg on Hwy. 401. Big Apple Drive is next to the highway and is a regular stop for 401 travellers.

“Through further investigation, the health unit has now determined that there may be a risk to patrons, albeit small,” the health unit states.

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The restaurant was closed as of Monday evening with a sign reading “evoling health

The health unit is encouraging anyone who was served inside the restaurant or served through the drive-thru between Nov. 23 to 30 to monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms.

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“Although we do not believe customers are at a high risk, we are encouraging anyone who visited the restaurant during the specified dates to self-monitor for symptoms,” states Dr. Lynn Noseworthy, medical officer of health.

“If anyone does develop symptoms, they are encouraged to get tested and self-isolate while awaiting test results.”

On Tuesday, the health unit announced a workplace outbreak but didn’t reveal the location. Tim Hortons revealed to media afterwards that it was at the Colborne restaurant.

Read more: Coronavirus: expert in global education launches interactive map of Ontario school cases

The health unit says while it will not routinely share the location of workplace outbreaks, this facility is a food premise and the health unit is unable to reasonably reach anyone who may have been exposed to the virus through person-to-person contact on the dates noted.

“Doing case and contact management for a confirmed case or an outbreak is a very detailed and lengthy process,” said Noseworthy. “Information is always evolving, and you are always learning more about the situation. When we declared the outbreak yesterday (Tuesday), we did not have the complete picture we now have.”

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The health unit says it may also share information about a workplace if the workplace requests public notification — even if there is no risk to the public.

Symptoms of COVID-19 range from mild to severe and may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to COVID-19. Common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, new or worsening cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, difficulty swallowing, smell/tasting disorder, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, or runny nose or nasal congestion.

On Wednesday, the health unit reported three new cases in Northumberland County.

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