No new cases of Hepatitis A reported in Grand County |

No new cases of Hepatitis A reported in Grand County

Tonya Bina
Sky-Hi News
Grand County, CO Colorado
Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi News
Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi News | Sky-Hi News

The Grand Lake restaurant worker who was confirmed to have had Hepatitis A has been released from St. Anthony Central and is now believed to be recovering at home, according to the Grand County emergency spokesperson Nowell Curran.

As of Monday, Aug. 9, no other Grand County individuals have been confirmed to have hepatitis A, according to health officials.

The food-service worker has been living in Grand Lake on a work-study program from Romania and began working on July 5 as a line cook at both the Sagebrush BBQ and Grill and at Max and T’s in Grand Lake.

The cook, who had not known he had the sickness, started showing symptoms on July 30 or Aug. 1. Granby Medical Center determined it was Hepatitis A.

“We’re not sure where it originated,” Curran said, saying that the worker could have picked it up out of the country or could have contracted it in Grand Lake.

Exposure to the sickness can only occur from close personal contact or through food handling, according to Grand County Public Health. For this reason, precautionary measures were taken and vaccine clinics were set up at the Grand Lake Elementary School through the weekend.

People who may have been exposed have a two week period to get immunized, according to health officials.

Since Thursday, Aug. 5, about 800 people have gotten the Hepatitis A vaccine shot and the immune globulin shot, which boosts the immune system for about three months to ward off infection, according to county health officials. Shots are still available through Grand County Public Health in Hot Sulphur Springs.

Health officials determined that the chance for exposure was highest at Max and T’s from July 26-30, and at the Sagebrush from July 24-Aug. 1.

Since the Sagebrush catered outside events during that time, such as the rodeo in Fraser on July 31 and the Regatta Week Teen Party at the Grand Lake Yacht Club on Aug. 3, Public Health has been contacting individuals to advise them about the need for vaccinations, according to Curran.

People who ate at the restaurants between July 10 and July 23 may have been exposed, health officials say, but would not benefit from the immunizations because immunizations because they must be given within 14 days of exposure. Those individuals are advised to watch for symptoms.

People who only consumed dessert or beverages at either restaurant do not need immunizations.

Sagebrush and Max and T’s:

The two restaurants have been inspected for their sanitary practices and it has been determined that both restaurants are safe to dine at.

Both restaurants are open for business.

“Those restaurants were extremely cooperative and were current and are current with all inspections,” Curran said.

All workers and owners at the two restaurants were given Hepatitis A vaccines last week.

“Our standard operating procedures is that everyone in the kitchen wears gloves,” said Sagebrush Owner Bob Freeman. “The precautionary steps you take to avoid this is our regular routine.”

The incident, he said, has affected business at “a particularly bad time in our economy.”

“No one has gotten sick, and I don’t think anyone will be getting sick,” said Max and T’s owner Max Ludwig on Monday.

“We have excellent hand-washing practices here, and all cooks in the kitchen wear disposable gloves,” he said.

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