McDonald's (MCD) - Get McDonald's Corporation (MCD) Report has been discussing steps with franchisees that could be taken to re-close their dining rooms in areas where the COVID-19 Delta variant is spreading, according to a Monday report.
McDonald's executives recommended during a conference call last week that franchisees consider closing indoor seating in counties where COVID-19 cases exceed 250 per 100,000 people on a rolling three-week average.
McDonald's had closed indoor dining at nearly all U.S. locations in early 2020, but had reopened about 70% by June. The company had previously said it was on track to open nearly 100% by Labor Day.
However, the company may now be reversing its optimism on that front, according to internal company materials seen by Reuters.
"We have a much deeper sense of what actions make a difference for the safety of our restaurant teams and crew," McDonald's USA President Joe Erlinger said during a meeting last week.
The majority of the country has a high case rate based on the seven-day moving average, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to the CDC, about 94% of U.S. counties have a high transmission rate over the past week.
The U.S. reached a daily average of 100,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations for the first time since the pandemic peaked in the winter.
The European Union recommended Monday that American travelers should be banned from nonessential travel as COVID-19 cases surge thanks to the Delta variant.
McDonald's shares were down 0.4% to $236.64 on Monday at last check.