West Island pub with positive case reopens after all staff test negative for COVID-19
MONTREAL -- A popular Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue pub is ready to reopen after going on hiatus due to a positive COVID-19 case.
Annies Sur Le Lac closed July 9, so its entire staff could get tested for the virus after one of its staff tested positive.
Its management said Tuesday that all of its 26 staff members were tested and there were no more positive cases.
“We will be reopening tomorrow and will continue to follow very strict guidelines, including a questionnaire and temperature check before every shift for each staff member,” reads a post on the pub’s Facebook page. “The bar area will be used for waiter service only. We will no longer be allowing members of the public to sit at the bar.”
The pub’s manager, Kevin O’Connel, told CTV News last week that the measure was required by public health authorities, but he closed the restaurant to be cautious.
O’Connel said all clientele will be required to wear masks upon entering the establishment, and he will continue to be strict with safety measures.
“We know that that rule’s coming into effect on the weekend, but we’re going to start right away,” he said.
Annies is one of around a dozen bars that have reported positive COVID-19 cases among their staff or customers since they were allowed to reopen.
Montreal public health reported Monday that at least 13 people have tested positive after visiting at least nine bars on the island.
Dr. David Kaiser of Montreal public health said compiling a registry of clients is the best way to contact trace, so another forced closure won’t be necessary.
“I wouldn't say closing bars is on our horizons right now,” he said. “That being said, registries are an easy tool to help us do our contact tracing and helping people realize when you go into a bar this is a place where transmission is a little bit more likely.”
Testing has ramped up in Montreal in the past week, as hundreds have lined up daily at the Hotel Dieu facility.
Last week about one in 100 people tested positive, and this week it’s up to three.
Public health is eager to do more and more contact tracing.
“If we don’t feel like we can get on top of where transmission is happening and stop it, that’s what’s more alarming,” said Kaiser.