Peel Public Health officials are urging anyone who was at an east-end Mississauga nightclub earlier in the month to get a COVID-19 test amid concerns about possible exposure to the virus after at least four people tested positive.
Region of Peel staff said the potential exposure would have happened between Aug. 6 and 8 at Her. nightclub on Eglinton Avenue East, just west of Dixie Road.
In a statement issued late Friday, officials encouraged anyone who was at the nightclub — including those who are fully vaccinated — to get an “immediate” COVID-19 test.
“The club is cooperating with Peel Public Health and there is no known risk of exposure at this time,” the statement said.
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When asked for further information, a Region of Peel spokesperson told Global News that four people have tested positive for COVID-19 to date.
The spokesperson said the business was allowed to stay open as an investigation from bylaw and public health personnel continues to be undertaken.
Under Ontario’s COVID-19 rules governing nightclubs with dancing, customers are allowed to temporarily remove masks for eating and drinking purposes.
For patrons seated at different tables, the rules call for tables to be separated by at least two metres or have an impermeable barrier.
In terms of capacity limits for such establishments, the number of people is capped at the number of people who can keep a physical distance of at least two metres from others and at a maximum of up to 25 per cent of the approved capacity, or 250 people — whichever is less.
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Establishments must keep a record of contacts for a month in case tracing is needed and COVID-19 screening must be conducted.
Global News contacted representatives for the nightclub to ask about the Peel Public Health announcement. An email statement from the company said the owners and staff invested heavily in preparing for reopening in Step 3, adding they have been working with public health officials.
Recent photos on one of the company’s social media accounts appeared to show events at the establishment on the days cited. While many appeared to be wearing masks while away from booths, there also appeared to be some who weren’t. When asked about the recent photos, representatives insisted they have been working to try to keep people safe.
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“In any establishment, whether at Her or any location of any industry, there will be people who take it upon themselves to bend to the rules. We stay on top of it as all businesses do,” the statement said.
“At Her, we vow to comply, not to push back. We are here to succeed as best as we can during this difficult time, but not at the sacrifice of people’s health and safety.
“All patrons and staff are told to wear, and enforced to wear, face coverings in common areas. At your reserved section, amongst your social circle, while consuming food and/or beverage, you are exempt from wearing a face covering.”
The statement said staff have put in place table reservation procedures, guest tracking, temperature checks, sanitation stations, nightly cleaning and other initiatives in response to COVID-19. It also said they adhere to a cap of 250 people inside the business at any given time, adding the maximum capacity the building could hold is 1,440 people.
“We stay well within the parameters of the law when it comes to capacity and distancing. We are fortunate to have a large indoor square footage at approximately 19,000 plus outdoor space,” the statement said.
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With respect to the cases identified by Peel Public Health, the statement said the owners conducted mandatory staff testing since the cases were identified. It said three customers and one temporary staff member ultimately tested positive.
“We cannot confirm these infections were contracted at Her. These cases were also not detected on the same date,” the statement said.
“All tests which have come back from Her staff have come back negative. Only those employees have been scheduled to get back to work for now.”
Meanwhile, for information on COVID-19 testing in Peel Region, click here. For those who live outside of the region, they were encouraged to contact their local public health department for assistance.
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