Church St. Taphouse. Image, Facebook

Church St. Taphouse. Image, Facebook

Comox taphouse closes temporarily after COVID test

Staff member last worked Oct. 27; Island Health clarifies when public notice is given

A Comox pub has closed its doors temporarily as a precaution after an employee’s COVID-19 test.

Church St. Taphouse announced on its Facebook page Wednesday, Nov. 4, that it did not open that morning after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19. The employee is in self-isolation.

“We have not been advised by Island Health to close, but for the safety of our employees and guests, it is the most responsible thing to do,” co-owner and general manager Chris Morrison said on Facebook.

He told the Record in an email Thursday morning that the restaurant is still closed today and hopes to re-open Friday.

The employee last worked a shift on Tuesday, Oct. 27 from 5 to 11 p.m., was wearing a mask and did not show any symptoms. The previous shift was at lunch on Oct. 22.

“It was a bit of a shock to hear the news and we are gathering as much information on the timeline of events; we are speaking directly with Island Health to enquire about any additional recommended next steps,” Morrison said on the post.

The Record recently spoke with the region’s medical health officer, Dr. Charmaine Enns, about the importance of contact tracing and the difference between actual COVID-19 cases, close contacts and casual contacts. Most information about contacts is gathered from the person who tests positive, or the ‘case,’ but in some circumstances, public health officials may need more information about potential community transmissions and release a notice to the public.

In a further statement, Island Health sent a statement: “Contact tracing from Island Health’s public health team ensures anyone with a potentially close contact exposure to a confirmed case is followed up with. A close contact exposure means face-to-face contact while a person is infectious for an extended period of time. When public health officials cannot be certain they have reached all those who need to be contacted and there may be a risk to the public, we issue a public notification. We currently have no public notifications.”

RELATED STORY: Contact tracing is crucial, says north Island’s medical health officer

Church St. Taphouse opened in Comox in summer 2019 to provide a local “walkable, bike-friendly, family-based” taphouse. The business includes its COVID-19 safety plan on its website.

On Wednesday, Church St. Taphouse spent the day conducting some extra cleaning. A few employees are also being tested as an additional precaution, and the pub will not have the staff members return until their results are known. Morrison has asked anyone with concerns or questions to contact him at the pub. The Record will update the story when more information becomes available.

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