At least 80 staff members at Colorado's two newly launched In-N-Out Burger restaurants have been infected with the coronavirus, part of two sprawling outbreaks identified Wednesday.
The facilities -- in Aurora and Colorado Springs -- were opened with much fanfare Nov. 20.
Lines at both locations stretched around corners, and wait times stretched hours.
Now, both are sites of outbreaks, according to data published by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
Sixty staffers at the Colorado Springs location have been diagnosed with COVID. Another nine are likely ill with the disease.
Twenty workers in Aurora are also sick with the virus, plus 16 more who probably have it.
The data does not indicate patrons have been infected. The outbreak in Colorado Springs does not include the chain's nearby distribution center, a spokesperson for the state health department said.
"We are closely monitoring these larger outbreaks in collaboration with local public health agencies," the spokesperson said. "To prevent outbreaks, we need these businesses to ensure proper distancing and mask wearing. Customers also should be distanced and wear masks at all times, even when going through the drive thru. We all have a part to play in preventing the spread and keeping businesses open and as safe as possible."
In a statement, In-N-Out vice president of operations Denny Warnick said the burger chain's infected employees and their close contacts "have been excluded from the workplace."
"We continue to work closely with our public health agencies and have confirmed the appropriate steps to help protect our communities," he said. "These steps include: limiting staff to the minimum number necessary to serve our customers, using staff 'cohorts' to limit possible exposure, and limiting dining room access to takeout orders only while ensuring appropriate physical distancing."
He added that employees are regularly screened, a process that includes a temperature check, before beginning their shifts.
Outside of the state's prison system, which continues to battle significant outbreaks, the In-N-Out breakout in Colorado Springs is one of the more sizable in the state, butting heads with spread in long-term care facilities.
Of the roughly 50 fast food outbreaks that are active or have been resolved in Colorado since the spring, the Colorado Springs outbreak is the largest.