Outbreak declared at Parry Sound McDonald’s, preliminary tests detect variant

With cases on the rise across northern Ontario, public health officials in North Bay say they agree with an extended lockdown. (Alana Pickrell/CTV News Northern Ontario)

Public Health officials declared an outbreak at the McDonald’s restaurant in Parry Sound on Saturday after four employees tested positive for COVID-19.

In a Feb. 27 news release, the North Bay-Parry Sound District Health Unit said that two of those cases are showing a preliminary result of a variant of concern (VOC) and that all individuals reside outside the health unit’s service area.

"The Health Unit is advising individuals who visited the McDonald’s drive-thru at 118 Bowes Street in the Town of Parry Sound between February 5 and February 19, 2021, to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and should symptoms develop, immediately self-isolate and contact the local assessment centre for testing," read the news release.

"At this time there is no risk to the public and the restaurant is still permitted to operate drive-thru services."

The health unit did not list the specific variant type in the two cases.  There have been two previous cases of the B.1.351 VOC detected in the Parry Sound district.

The contact tracing investigation is being led by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit while public health officials in Parry Sound investigate the outbreak and field case management.

Under the provincial Shutdown restrictions and Stay-at-Home Order, restaurants are not open for in-person dining.

If you think you may have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, first self-isolate, do not go to work or school, and use Ontario's Self-Assessment Tool to see if you need to seek testing or further care.

If you are awaiting COVID-19 test results, remain in self-isolation until you receive your result.

If you need further assistance, call your health care provider or the Health Unit at 1-800-563-2808.