McDonald’s to ‘slowly’ start reopening coronavirus-closed US dining rooms: Report

Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee said they will scale back COVID-19 restrictions

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McDonald’s will slowly move to reopen U.S. dining rooms amid the coronavirus pandemic as some states, including Georgia, plan to lift restaurant restrictions in the coming days.

Franchisees will work with the company and local authorities to create full reopening plans, Vicki Chancellor, an Atlanta-based franchisee and chair of the McDonald's Operator’s National Advertising Committee, told the Wall Street Journal, which reported the news.

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MCDMCDONALD'S CORP.186.32-1.16-0.62%

McDonald’s did not immediately respond to a request for comment from FOX Business but the fast-food chain’s U.S. president, Joe Erlinger, said it will enforce social distancing and take other steps to mitigate the spread of the virus, which has infected 788,900 nationwide.

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“We are going to move slowly and judiciously on this one,” Erlinger said of the reopening plans. Many McDonald’s restaurants are offering drive-thru and some takeout service.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at the outset of the outbreak, urged regular disinfecting, hand-washing, wearing face covers and staying 6 feet away from others. However, the governors of South Carolina and Tennessee, along with Georgia, have said they will begin scaling back on the latter guideline to reopen certain businesses.

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Some essential brands open during the pandemic have employed safety measures including regular health screenings at entrances and requiring workers to wear face masks.

Chick-fil-A, for example, said it would install hand-washing stations at its drive-thru and mall locations, instruct team members to wash their hands a minimum of once every 30 minutes and each time they handle cash, and provide cleaning wipes and other supplies.

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Meanwhile, retailers Amazon and Walmart are enforcing temperature checks on workers upon entry. Home Depot and Starbucks are providing thermometers and asking staff to self-monitor. And McDonald's said it will screen workers before they start their shifts.

While McDonald’s stock is down 9 percent year-to-date, it’s up 10 percent in the last month.

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