Possible COVID-19 exposure at Vancouver strip club

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B.C.'s COVID-19 outbreak has taken an eyebrow-raising turn this weekend. B.C. health officials are warning anyone who recently attended Brandi's Exotic Show Lounge may have been exposed to the virus. – Jun 27, 2020

Health officials have issued a notification about possible COVID-19 exposure at a Vancouver strip club earlier this week.

Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) says multiple people who attended 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 coronavirus.

VCH says there is no risk to anyone who attended the club outside those dates.

“As a precaution, we are advising people who attended Brandi’s Exotic Show Lounge during those hours to monitor themselves for 14 days,” said the health authority.

“As long as they remain healthy and do not develop symptoms, there is no need to self-isolate and they should continue with their usual daily activities.”

Read more: B.C. reports 10 new COVID-19 cases, one new death

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VCH adds that people without symptoms should not seek a test, as the results will not necessarily be accurate.

A notice on the club’s website says that it has temporarily closed “due to some concerns from VCH” but that it will reopen soon.

The company does not have a COVID-19 safety plan posted on its website, as required by public health order.

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.

VCH was unable to immediately say whether the club had a safety plan in place or what measures it had taken to prevent transmission.

Strip clubs are not addressed by any specific guidelines under B.C.’s pandemic reopening plan, but VCH said it has provided advice to some strip clubs on reopening under the pandemic.

“It’s our opinion that a combination of the performing arts guidance and and the restaurant and pub guidance would address many of their issues,” said a VCH spokesperson in an email.

“For example, if a strip club was acting as a bar, then could set seating capacity based on physical distancing and barriers.”

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Under Phase 2 of the plan, food and liquor service establishments were allowed to reopen in May. Those establishments must maintain two metres between parties, retain a name and telephone number from patrons, and stay below a maximum capacity listed in their safety plan — among other precautions.

WorkSafeBC said it was checking with its prevention team about whether it had been notified about the incident.

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