A number of bars in Toronto's Church and Wellesley Village have shut down this week as a result of COVID-19 outbreaks in the area.
On Saturday, popular drag bar Crews and Tangos announced to the public that both a customer and drag performer had tested positive for the virus.
They said they were notified on Sept. 23 that a customer who attended the bar on the night of Sept. 18 between the hours 8:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. had contracted COVID-19, and they added that they were later informed that a performer who did their last show on the same night had also tested positive.
"We urge all customers of Crews between Sept. 18th and Sept. 20th to go get tested to prevent any further spreading of the virus," they wrote on Instagram.
"To all those who made reservations for this weekend, please rest assured, we will be offering refunds."
In another statement, the bar's management said they would remain closed for four or five days to do the necessary sanitization before opening their doors once again, and reassured customers that they plan to follow strict COVID-19 protocols upon reopening.
Following the Crews and Tangos announcement, the manager of another establishment in The Village, Woody's & Sailor, announced that a staff member had also tested positive for COVID-19.
"We have learned that a staff member at Woody’s & Sailor has tested positive for COVID-19. This person's most recent shifts were Sunday Sept. 20th 3 p.m. until 8 p.m. and Tuesday Sept. 22nd 8 p.m. until close," wrote manager Dean Odorico on Facebook this past weekend.
"We have reported this to Toronto Public Health and have had preliminary instructions. Although we were told we did not have to close, we have decided not to open the bar or patio today and until further notice."
O'Gradys Church, another bar on the Church Street strip, meanwhile announced yesterday that they would be closing starting today, Sept. 28, until further notice as a precautionary measure.
They said as of Sunday, none of their staff had tested positive for COVID-19 and they had not been instructed to close, but they have nonetheless strongly encouraged all staff members to get tested during the closure. They'll also be conducting a thorough cleaning during this time.
"Due to recent events in the Church-Wellesley Village we have decided to take precautionary measures," they wrote on Facebook.
We will continue to follow the Ontario Public Health Guidelines and hope to re-open in a safe and timely manner."
everyone stay out of the toronto gay village— hi it’s me priyanka (@thequeenpri) September 27, 2020
covid is waiting for you on the corner of church & maitland.
The provincial government recently reduced gathering limits and introduced an 11 p.m. last call for bars throughout the province in response to rising numbers, but many people are calling for bars to shut down entirely to prevent further spread of the virus.
by Mira Miller via blogTO