UPDATE 8:01 a.m. (6/7/22): Following a recent uptick in hepatitis A cases in southwest Virginia, the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts held a vaccination clinic aimed toward restaurant workers on Monday.

It has been routine lately for primary doctors to recommend the hepatitis A vaccine, but Dr. Cynthia Morrow — director of the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts — says it may not have been recommended to older adults.

Besides Morrow, Del. Sam Rasoul (D-Roanoke) and Bob Rotanz, the owner of Salem eatery Mac and Bob’s, attended the vaccination clinic, which was organized after two employees at separate Roanoke restaurants were infected with hepatitis A over the last month.

Rotanz says he’s currently working to get all of his employees up-to-date on their vaccines.

“I honestly didn’t know much about hepatitis A until the Famous Anthony’s thing came around and we went through a different kind of class action suit with a prior store to that, so I kind of felt the pain, but this is so much different and scarier,” said Rotanz.

According to health officials, hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable illness, but it takes two shots to become fully immune.

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — In light of a recent surge in hepatitis A cases around the region, restaurant workers around the Roanoke Valley and the Alleghany Highlands are encouraged to get vaccinated against this liver disease during a free event on Monday.

The Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts and the Office of Del. Sam Rasoul (D-Roanoke) will host a hepatitis A vaccination clinic targeted toward employees of food service establishments from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday, June 6 at the Williamson Road Branch Library.

These vaccines will be provided on a first-come, first serve basis. You are encouraged to make an appointment by calling 540-613-6597.

This news comes after officials announced officials say 58 cases of hepatitis A have been reported within the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts between Jan. 1 and May 31, including an employee at Luigi’s Restaurant and an employee at Tuco’s Taqueria Garaje.

According to the health districts, substance use disorder — particularly injection drug use — is the most commonly identified risk factor in this outbreak.

In fact, because of the recent uptick in local hepatitis A cases, the Virginia Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention decided to make the vaccines free of charge during Monday’s clinic.

In addition, the VDH will bring information about family planning; sexual health; and Rapid REVIVE, which is a five-minute training session that shows you how to use NARCAN to reverse an opioid overdose.