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Home / Health / WPTV is investigating delays in alerting the public about employees with hepatitis A at Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurant

WPTV is investigating delays in alerting the public about employees with hepatitis A at Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurant



PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla .– The Florida Department of Health announced on May 21 that one of his

employees had tested positive for hepatitis A two days later.

A warning has been sent to the customers.

The restaurant's chief marketing officer said the company had not alerted customers immediately, as it had been instructed by health officials that the announcement would have to come straight from the Florida Department of Health's Palm Beach county.

The delay in alerting the public to the problem is troubled by Palm Beach Gardens lawyer, Krista Sauerberg, who ate the possible exposure in the restaurant during the window.

"We never knew," said Sauerberg, adding that she was notified by one of her staff who saw the news. "We're at Cooper's Hawk on May 7, which is in this window of exposure."

Health officials said that people who ate at the restaurant from May 1

to 12 could be at risk, but only those who ate there between May 9 and 12, within 14 days of exposure protected by the hepatitis A vaccine.

"I was out of the window for two days, so if they knew two things before yesterday (Thursday), I could have had another protocol option that would have been more effective," Sauerberg said.

If Sauerberg had been notified as the restaurant on May 21, she could have received the vaccine on the last day of her two-week window.

"At that point, they all needed to be on deck," Sauerberg said.

Two weeks after a possible exposure to hepatitis A, the doctors said they could only be aware of symptoms or have themselves examined.

"Humans can transmit the virus if they are infected, even before they have symptoms, while they have symptoms, and even for a few days after the virus has disappeared and has shown its effect," said Drs. Specialist in infectious diseases at the Good Samaritan Medical Center.

Dr. Dodson said the symptoms could occur between 15 and 50 days after exposure.

Sauerberg said she got the vaccine anyway and was tested. Cooper's Hawk said the entire workforce was vaccinated. Sauerberg hopes that other restaurants can be vaccinated proactively.

"A top-notch thing is uncomfortable for the restaurant, but it's really an opportunity for change and an opportunity to stop it," Sauerberg added.

Cooper's Hawk Winery and Restaurant has set up a hotline to answer customer questions and provide resources on testing and vaccination sites. The hotline number is 888-719-5058.


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