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McDonald’s launches coronavirus checks for employees, plans to take workers’ temperatures

LifestyleMcDonald's launches coronavirus checks for employees, plans to take workers' temperatures

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McDonald’s is playing it safe during the coronavirus pandemic, with the launch of new precautionary health safety checks for employees across the U.S.

On Wednesday, the fast-food chain announced that it would be implementing “extra precautionary measures” to ensure restaurant workers are in good health at the start of each shift.

A customer at a McDonald's uses the drive-up window on March 18 in Hicksville, New York. The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic on March 11. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

A customer at a McDonald’s uses the drive-up window on March 18 in Hicksville, New York. The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic on March 11. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

In partnership with its independent franchisees, McDonald’s confirmed that upon reporting for duty, employees will be asked if they have been diagnosed with or are exhibiting symptoms associated with COVID-19, if they have been in close contact within the last two weeks with anyone infected with the viral disease and if they have been advised to self-quarantine by a health care provider or public health official due to potential exposure to or suspected case of the novel coronavirus.

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If the employee answers “yes” to any of the questions, they will be sent home and not allowed to return to work until they have been cleared by a medical professional, McDonald’s said. Staffers who answer “no” to all of the coronavirus-check questions will be allowed to begin working as usual.

Looking ahead, a source close to the matter also confirmed to Fox News that the fast-food chain is also working to launch temperature checks for employees across America as an additional step of the new wellness policy, in the near future.

“We have secured thermometers and we’re in the process now of quickly making them available to all of our restaurants,” David Tovar, vice president of U.S. communications at McDonald’s, told Business Insider on Wednesday.

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Joe Erlinger, president of McDonald’s USA, described the health checks as “extra precautionary measures” to protect both employees and customers during the unprecedented pandemic.

“Implementing these extra precautionary measures is another way employees can feel good about where they work, and customers can trust their favorite McDonald’s menu items are being prepared by healthy crew members,” Erlinger said in the Wednesday statement. “This is one of the many ways McDonald’s is doing its part to help stop the spread of COVID-19 at this critical time.”

A view inside McDonald's in New York City as the coronavirus continues to spread across the United States in this March 27 photo. (Noam Galai/Getty Images)

A view inside McDonald’s in New York City as the coronavirus continues to spread across the United States in this March 27 photo. (Noam Galai/Getty Images)

Furthermore, if an employee of a company-owned restaurant is impacted by COVID-19, they will receive two weeks paid leave, McDonald’s said. Workers across a “large percentage” of franchised chains can receive emergency paid leave through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

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As for other precautionary measures during the COVID-19 crisis, the Golden Arches has closed many of its dine-in areas at restaurants, shuttered all play spaces, increased cleanings, especially of high-traffic areas, and made hand sanitizer available in all restaurants, among other social distancing measures.

Mickey D’s will follow competitors Burger King and Popeyes in mandating temperature checks for employees during the worldwide COVID-19 outbreak.

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