SUN CITY CENTER, Fla. (WFLA) – A single mother of two has confirmed to WFLA that she is the source of a Hepatits A case identified in Hillsborough County.
The employee at Sandpiper Grille in Sun City Center spoke by phone on Monday afternoon, telling News Channel 8 that she is recovering slowly. The mom says was a manager-in-training at the time when the Hepatitis A case was identitied. She believes she contracted the virus through “licking her finger while counting money.”
The owner of Sandpiper Grille, Michael Maddon, told WFLA, “I’ve got nothing to hide. This is an unfortunate situation. All of my employees have been vaccinated.”
“No one should be scared,” he added. “This person never touched food during the time the case was reported. She was training as a manager.”
Maddon and his wife have owned the restaurant for five years and have never had a problem. “We have great customers,” he said. “We love them.”
The response was overwhelming in Hillsborough County after the Florida Department of Health identified a case of Hepatits A recently at Sandpiper Grille.
Once people were informed, they were told they needed to be vaccinated. Anyone who ate or drank at the restaurant between March 20th and March 24th may have been exposed and was encouraged to get a free vaccination through the Department of Health.
Customers lined up one by one, starting Saturday morning. Before 9 a.m., there were nearly 300 people signed up to get a Hepatits A vaccination.
The restaurant is located at 1702 South Pebble Beach Boulevard in Sun City Center..
The response to vaccinations has been massive, according to officials. “We had so many people show up this past Saturday, we ran out of the vaccine,” said one health official. “We had to have them come back today, and you can see the waiting room. It’s packed.”
It was standing room only Monday afternoon at the Joyce Ely Health Center in Ruskin where free shots were being administered to customers who dined at the restaurant during the affected dates.
A hotline has been set up for people who may have questions. You can call (813) 307-8004.
Those who have previously received the vaccine do not need to take additional action.
The Department of Health, Hillsborough location, is offering the vaccine weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 pm. at the Sulphur Springs Health Complex, located at 8605 Mitchell Avenue in Tampa.