Chick-fil-A employees test positive for coronavirus as Texas loosens restrictions

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott outlined a slow reopening of the state's economy

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More than a dozen Chick-fil-A employees across Texas have tested positive for COVID-19 as the state begins to loosen stay-home orders and business restrictions.

Fifteen out of more than 100 employees in two Beaumont locations tested positive for the highly contagious virus, Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick confirmed to 12NewsNow.

The College Street and Dowlen Road locations in Beaumont have temporarily closed due to the virus.

"Our highest priority is the health of our Team Members and Guests," said Robert Henckel, the local Operator of the two locations that have currently closed. "We are working directly with the Beaumont Health Department and following all guidance, including the temporary closure of our College Street and Dowlen Road Restaurants. We look forward to serving the community of Beaumont again soon."

Representatives for Chick-fil-A have not immediately responded to FOX Business' request for comment.


Since the outbreak, the family-owned chicken chain has implemented numerous safety precautions to help mitigate the spread of the virus while continuing to serve its customers. The fast-food behemoth shifted operations to drive-thru, curbside pick-up and delivery only. Some of its locations around the country are also strongly pushing contactless ordering and payment through our mobile app to further limit the interaction between employees and customers.

Workers at a Chick-fil-A deliver meals to customers in their vehicles at the drive-up window March 20, 2020 in Pembroke Pines, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Employees are not only wearing protective gear such as gloves and face coverings but they were instructed to wash their hands a minimum of once every 30 minutes and each time they handle cash.


The test results were revealed just before Texas Gov. Greg Abbott outlined a slow reopening of one of the world’s largest economies amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Abbott’s plan allows restaurants, retailers, movie theaters and malls to let in customers up to 25 percent of capacity as long as they follow social distancing guidelines.

Abbott also said he will let his monthlong stay-at-home order expire on Thursday. However, bars, barbershops, hair salons and gyms will remain closed.

"We have shown that Texas can continue our efforts to contain COVID-19 while also adhering to safe standards that will allow us to begin the process of opening this great state," Abbott said. "We will be measured and cautious. Only with your help and with all of these measures in place can we begin to open businesses with careful adherence to health protocols. By coming together, we can prevent the spread of COVID-19 and we can get Texas back to work."

Even as states begin to ease restrictions, the company said it will take "additional time to review our operations and ensure we have necessary precautions in place to protect our Guests and Team Members before we reopen our dining rooms."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.