B.C.’s provincial health officer says a Vancouver strip club linked to multiple cases of COVID-19 may have been “skirting the rules in some ways.”
Dr. Bonnie Henry said three people who were at Brandi’s Exotic Show Lounge on Hornby Street between the hours of 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. from June 21 to June 24 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
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Anyone who attended Brandi’s during those hours should monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days. Henry says contact tracing is underway in relation to the exposure event and “several close contacts are in isolation.”
A message on Brandi’s website says the lounge is temporarily closed and “looks forward to resuming safe operations in the near future.”
Henry said Monday the shuttered strip club operated under the same type of event licence that would apply to a pub.
“So yes, they were in some sense going around the regulations to be able to hold events and they are closed down because the safety plan that was in place was not adequate,” she said.
“I think there are concerns and they are skirting the rules in some ways.”
Henry went on to say that WorkSafeBC and public health inspectors can close businesses.
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“So they would not be able to reopen unless they do come up with a plan that meets the criteria that we’ve established for protection of both the employees and the patrons in those facilities in those businesses,” she said.
“Businesses need to be aware that you are responsible for keeping your employees and your patrons safe and you could be liable if appropriate precautions are not taken to protect people.”
In an emailed statement, Brandi’s management said it was deeply concerned “to learn that someone who had possibly been exposed to COVID-19 had entered our establishment.”
The club says it has been working with public health officials to notify people who may have been exposed and has sanitized the premises.
“I am concerned,” Henry said. “We have not yet seen transmission from this event, but it’s very possible.”
— With files from Simon Little
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