Toronto health worker closes 3 restaurants following COVID contact tracing

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Toronto’s top public health official has ordered the closure of three downtown restaurants after contact tracing showed some employees with COVID-19, Toronto Public Health said on Saturday.

Toronto medical officer of health Dr. Eileen de Villa issued the order on Friday evening based on contact tracing data.

“TPH has found a disturbing link involving these places where many people are logged into more than one of the companies mentioned,” the agency said in a statement.

“In some cases, for example, people infected with COVID-19 were employed in more than one of these locations.”

Additionally, the health unit said one of the restaurants served buffet style, which is prohibited by provincial regulations due to the pandemic.

The ministry has identified the three closed restaurants as MARBL, Casa Mezcal and King Taps, which are all located within 10 blocks of each other on King Street West.

The health unit said it was ordering the closure of a fourth facility, but did not provide details.

In an Instagram post on Friday night, MARBL said it was closing for the weekend “due to unforeseen circumstances.”

“To those who were planning to join us, we apologize for the inconvenience and look forward to serving you soon,” the post read.

In a message released on Saturday, King Taps said he “is cooperating fully with Toronto Public Health.”

“To that end, a deep cleaning of the restaurant is underway and a review of on-site practices and protocols is underway,” the post said.

“Guests who visited the site on September 6, 9, 10 and 11 may wish to contact the Toronto Public Health Unit.”

In July, while Toronto was still in Stage 2 of the reopening, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario announced an investigation into MARBL after a video was released on social media showing dozens of customers crammed into a semi-interior space.

The video, which also showed staff not wearing masks, sparked outrage online.

Meanwhile, Crews and Tangos bar and dance hall, in another part of downtown Toronto, announced that one of its clients and one of its performers has tested positive for COVID-19.

“We urge all Crews customers between September 18 and 20 to get tested to prevent further spread of the virus,” the company said in an Instagram post.

“To all those who have booked for this weekend, rest assured, we will offer refunds.”

Also on Saturday, the city issued an alert saying that seven people who visited the warehouse on Yonge Street, another restaurant, between September 10 and September 17, tested positive for COVID-19.

Five are employees and two are patrons, the Toronto Public Health Department said. He encouraged all of the roughly 1,700 people who were at the restaurant during the relevant period to monitor themselves for symptoms, and said the contact tracers had been in contact with those considered to be at higher risk. to contract the virus.

The news comes after the Ford government announced Friday that bars and restaurants in Ontario must now close at midnight and stop serving alcohol at 11 p.m. in response to an increase in COVID-19 cases.

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Thousands of people protested in London on Saturday against government restrictions linked to COVID – which included a 22-hour curfew at bars and restaurants across the country, as well as stricter masking requirements and increased fines for non-compliance .

The Ontario government announced on Saturday that there were 435 new cases of COVID-19 – which makes seven of the last nine days that the daily total has exceeded 400 cases.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on September 26, 2020.



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