February 21, 2020The Westchester County Health Department has learned that an employee with Hepatitis A worked at a private event at the event space at Factoria in Peekskill while infectious.  Anyone who was there on Saturday, February 15 may have been exposed. In an abundance of caution, because Fin & Brew shares an ice machine with the event space, patrons who ate at the restaurant on Sunday February 16 or Wednesday, February 19 also could have been exposed. The Health Department has been contacting patrons to alert them to their potential exposure. Patrons at the other restaurants in the complex are not at risk because they have separate facilities.

The Westchester County Department of Health is offering free preventive treatment starting Tuesday to anyone who ate or drank at The Space at Factoria or at Fin & Brew during the exposure period. Preventive treatment is only effective if given within two weeks of the last day of exposure.  Therefore, those who dined on February 15 must receive preventive treatment by February 29. Those who dined on February 16 must receive treatment by March 1 and those who dined there on February 19 must receive treatment by March 4

 No one with a prior history of Hepatitis A vaccination or Hepatitis A infection needs to be treated. 

The health department will offer preventive treatment at the Health Department Clinic, 134 Court Street, White Plains, on the following dates and times. Although walk-ins are welcome, advance registration is highly recommended:

  • Tuesday, February 25, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, February 26, 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, February 27, 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • For other times by appointment during clinic hours, call 914-995-7499

To register, go to www.health.ny.gov/gotoclinic/60.  To provide consent, a parent/guardian must accompany anyone under 18 years of age. Restaurant patrons who were exposed also can seek preventive treatment from their own health care provider.

Factoria is cooperating with the Health Department and conducted a thorough cleaning on Thursday.  Staff were vaccinated today and the restaurant will be re-inspected later today by the Westchester County Department of Health before reopening for dinner.

Hepatitis A is transmitted by consuming food or drinks or by using utensils that have been handled by an infected person. It may also be spread from person to person by ingesting something that has been contaminated with the stool of a person with Hepatitis A. Casual contact, such as sitting together, does not spread the virus.

Hepatitis A is generally a mild illness whose symptoms include fatigue, fever, poor appetite, abdominal pain, diarrhea, dark urine, light colored stool and jaundice, which is the yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes. Not everyone infected with Hepatitis A will have all of its symptoms.  Symptoms commonly appear within 28 days of exposure, with a range of 15 to 50 days. Preventive treatment is only effective within two weeks of exposure to the virus, but symptoms typically do not appear until a person has had the virus for a few weeks. The illness is rarely fatal and most people recover in a few weeks without any complications.

Sherlita Amler, MD, Commissioner of Health, said: “I urge anyone who is eligible for treatment to get a Hepatitis A vaccine. There are no special medications used to treat a person once symptoms appear, but Hepatitis A transmission to others can be prevented through proper handwashing.”