2 HPFB employees test positive for COVID-19, Community Kitchen, Kids Cafe closed

2 HPFB employees test positive for COVID-19, Community Kitchen, Kids Cafe closed
Two High Plains Food Bank Community Kitchen employees have tested positive for COVID-19, as a result, the Community Kitchen and Kids Cafe will be closed through June 1. (Source: KFDA)

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Two High Plains Food Bank Community Kitchen employees have tested positive for COVID-19, as a result, the Community Kitchen and Kids Cafe will be closed through June 1.

"The safety of our staff and community is of the utmost importance," said Zack Wilson, executive director of High Plains Food Bank. "Our staff works very hard to serve more than 1,000 meals a day, and they have a heart for our mission. We look forward to re-opening Kids Cafe, with a full and healthy team, so we can continue to safely feed our community through the Kids Cafe summer food meal service."

According to the HPFB, this week, two Community Kitchen team members awoke with symptoms and did not come to work. It was confirmed today that both tested positive for COVID-19. Neither of the employees displayed symptoms of illness while at work.

HPFB reported both of these cases in full transparency to the health department.

"Although the City advised us that Kids Cafe could continue full operation, it is out of an abundance of caution for our staff and those we serve, that we chose to close the kitchen immediately," Wilson said. "This will allow us to conduct additional sanitation to ensure our Community Kitchen's continued safe operation. Food safety, the health of our employees, and sanitation continue to be our highest priority as we work to alleviate hunger."

Neither team member has entered the main warehouse facility or been in the vicinity of operations staff or food distributions. The main facility and warehouse are still open, and staff continues to follow the proper guidelines for safety.

The HPFB says since the beginning of March, the Community Kitchen has increased sanitary measures and has followed all recommended CDC guidelines. During that time, staff has worn additional PPE and followed proper social distancing protocol, even while in the kitchen. The staff conducts a thorough cleaning and sanitizing twice a day for the entire facility.

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