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What will they tell their spouses? More than 500 people who visited Toronto strip club are urged to quarantine for 14 days after worker tests positive for COVID-19

What will they tell their spouses? More than 500 people who visited Toronto strip club are urged to quarantine for 14 days after worker tests positive for COVID-19

The State
  • Worker at Brass Rail strip club in Toronto tested positive for COVID-19
  • Up to 550 people may have been exposed and have been urged to quarantine
  • Ontario Premier Doug Ford wondered what conversations the men were going to have with their spouses
  • The club was issued a notice of noncompliance and the city is working to ensure physical distancing measures are followed

Public health officials on Friday said as many as 550 people may have been exposed to COVID-19 at a Toronto strip club last week and urged them to self-isolate for 14 days.

It is the first time city officials have issued such as warning since allowing nightclubs and restaurants to reopen, with social distancing restrictions, on July 31.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford wondered what conversations the men were going to have with their spouses.

‘I feel sorry for people when they go to their house and tell them that they were at the Brass Rail,’ Ford quipped to reporters. ‘That´s who I feel sorry for. Sorry for the spouse, seriously. Man, I wouldn´t want to be on the end of that one.’

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Toronto Public Health said a worker at the Brass Rail strip club on Yonge Street tested positive for the virus. 

A worker at Brass Rail strip club in Toronto (pictured) tested positive for coronavirus

A worker at Brass Rail strip club in Toronto (pictured) tested positive for coronavirus

A stripper is seen wearing a face mask in this still from a video on the club's Instagram page. There is no suggestion this is the worker who contracted COVID-19

A stripper is seen wearing a face mask in this still from a video on the club’s Instagram page. There is no suggestion this is the worker who contracted COVID-19

Authorities said the employee worked on August 4, 5, 7, and 8. They refused to specify whether the person was a stripper or another member of staff.

It said officials were contacting individuals who provided their information to the club upon entry and urged them, as well as those who had been in close contact with them, to self-isolate and get tested. 

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Establishments are required to keep a customer log during the pandemic.

Dr. Vinita Dubey, associate medical officer of health, said the club was issued a notice of noncompliance and the city is working to ensure physical distancing measures are followed.

In a statement on Instagram, the club said: ‘The Brass Rail closed its doors immediately when we heard that an employee may have tested positive for COVID-19. The safety of our city, staff and patrons is always our top priority.

‘It turned out to be only one isolated case and that case was quickly contained. All of our staff were subsequently tested and all tests have come back negative.

‘The Brass Rail has strict safety precautions in place but as an added measure we closed our establishment for another 72 hours on our own accord without direction from anyone.

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The club issued a statement explaining what happened. They described it as an isolated case

The club issued a statement explaining what happened. They described it as an isolated case

Ontario Premier Doug Ford (pictured last week) wondered what conversations the men were going to have with their spouses

Ontario Premier Doug Ford (pictured last week) wondered what conversations the men were going to have with their spouses

‘We then hired a professional sanitization/disinfecting crew to throughly sanitize (in hazmat suits) the Brass Rail in its entirety.

‘Our safety measures continue to go above and beyond to ensure our valued staff & patrons are always kept secure and safe.’ 

Dr. Andrew Morris, a professor of infectious diseases at the University of Toronto and the medical director of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program at Sinai-University Health Network, said strip clubs, nightclubs or bars should not be open until at least schools are up and running.

‘We just know enough from everywhere that they are going to the sources of outbreaks,’ Morris said. ‘I don’t think people realize – 550 people potentially exposed. You know how long its going to take them to chase down 550 guys, half of which probably gave fake ID or information.’

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