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Kannapolis brewery linked to eight COVID-19 positives

KANNAPOLIS — Health officials are recommending everyone who visited Old Armor Beer Company in the previous two weeks monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms and consider getting tested after eight cases have been linked to the facility.

Old Armor Beer Company is located in downtown Kannapolis on West Avenue, and the Cabarrus Health Alliance said it has a duty to make the public aware that eight cases have been linked to the facility.

“The complicated thing about COVID-19 is that people may have no idea they are positive for days before any symptoms appear. With eight confirmed cases within a 14-day window that all identified attending the brewery, public health officials have the responsibility to make the community aware,” said Dr. Bonnie Coyle, Cabarrus County public health director, in a news release.

Kyle Lingafelt, one of the co-owners of the brewery, told the Post that he has been in contact with Cabarrus County health officials. And while they have told him they can’t definitively confirm the cases are linked to the brewery, hearing they may be linked is still “a little troubling for us.”

Lingafelt said the brewery is aware of one positive case among its employees. The employee’s case was confirmed at the end of last week, but she hasn’t been at the brewery since Sept. 6, he said.

And while not all employees have been tested, Lingafelt said those who worked with her or came into close contact with her are self-quarantining. He added that the husband of the employee who tested positive received a negative test result.

Lingafelt said the brewery has undergone three deep cleaning sessions within the past two weeks and that masks are being worn. He added that the brewery has ordered more face masks and is looking into ways to further incentivize and encourage customers to wear their masks as it’s “difficult to constantly monitor people’s behaviors.”

Additionally, Lingafelt said employees’ temperatures are checked daily and social distancing is urged. And while 50% capacity for the brewery is about 150 people, they’re only allowing a maximum of 90 people to be seated there.

“We’re trying to do the right thing. It’s just the nature of the beast,” he said, referring to the virus.

Anyone who exhibits fever, cough and shortness of breath, which may develop up to 14 days after exposure, should self-isolate and contact their primary care provider. If you do not have a primary care provider, call the CHA Health Information Line at 704-920-1213. Information regarding COVID-19 testing sites and resources is available at www.cabarrushealth.org/communitytesting and rowancountync.gov/1590/Testing-Information.

The Cabarrus Health Alliance reports 360 active cases. The Rowan County Health Department reports 365 active cases.

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