Hello Fresh’s Green Chef among COVID-19 outbreak sites in Aurora, state says

Green Chef warehouse in Aurora’s industrial airport district. SCREEN SHOT OF A GOOGLE IMAGE.

AURORA | More than a dozen employees at a north Aurora meal-kit delivery commissary have tested positive for COVID-19, according to recent data provided by the state health department.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment on Wednesday said that 15 employees of Green Chef, a meal kit subsidiary of global giant Hello Fresh, have been confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus.

The outbreak at the Aurora branch of Green Chef, located at 16304 E. 32nd Ave., was first reported to the department May 11.

The state listed the facility’s address as falling within Arapahoe County limits, but Adams County assessor’s records show the building is within the latter jurisdiction.

In a statement, a Green Chef spokesperson said most of the infected employees have since returned to work as the cumulative total provided by the state accounts for all workers who have gotten sick since early March. It’s unclear how many workers are currently infected or in quarantine.

“Most Green Chef employees have made full recoveries and returned to work,” a Green Chef spokesperson wrote in an email. “In each instance of a reported case, we immediately activated our response protocol to prevent transmission and ensure there is no contamination. This protocol includes thorough contact tracing, direct notification to affected employees and intensified cleanings of any impacted areas. Additionally, any team members identified as having been in sustained contact with a sick employee are required to self-quarantine off premises for at least 14 days.”

The company has also implemented “hospital-grade deep cleanings,” temperature checks and a mandate that all staffers wear face masks at all times, the spokesperson said.

Roughly 1,000 Green Chef employees have been in the north Aurora facility since March.

Hello Fresh acquired Green Chef, which specializes in gluten-free, paleo and vegan meal kits delivered to homes, in March 2018.

There are currently more than 220 active outbreaks of COVID-19 at a slew of detention facilities, nursing homes, stores and manufacturing hubs across Colorado. The state health department defines an outbreak as two or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 in a facility within a single two-week period.

As of May 28, Colorado has reported 25,121 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with more than 3,000 of those cases based in Adams County, according to the state health department. More than 4,200 people have been hospitalized and 1,168 people have died. Roughly 167,000 Coloradans have been tested for the virus.