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Exposure notice expanded after 2nd COVID-19 case linked to Vancouver strip club

Coronavirus cases linked to B.C. bars and nightclubs cause concern
Coronavirus cases linked to B.C. bars and nightclubs cause concern

Health officials have expanded a possible COVID-19 exposure notice for the No5 Orange strip club.

Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) had initially advised the public that a staff member who tested positive for the virus worked at the club on July 1.

On Wednesday, VCH said a second person has since tested positive who was at the club on July 1, 3, 4 and 7.

Read more: Vancouver’s No5 Orange strip club closed temporarily after employee tests postive for COVID-19

The health authority has closed the No5 Orange while it reviews the business’ safety plan.

“As a precaution, we are advising people who attended the No5 Orange on July 1, 3, 4 or 7 to monitor themselves for 14 days,” said VCH in a health bulletin.

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Dr. Bonnie Henry on public health notice of COVID-19 exposure at Vancouver strip club
Dr. Bonnie Henry on public health notice of COVID-19 exposure at Vancouver strip club

“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.”

Anyone who develops symptoms should book a test immediately, said the health authority.

Read more: Possible COVID-19 exposure at Vancouver strip club

At the time of the first exposure notice, a manager with the club acknowledged that staff at the business failed to take proper contact tracing information from everyone who attended.

The No5 Orange is one of two strip clubs in Vancouver that were closed due to potential exposures.

Brandi’s Exotic Show Lounge was closed in late June after “multiple people” who attended over several days tested positive.

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COVID-19 exposure at popular Vancouver strip club
COVID-19 exposure at popular Vancouver strip club

That club plans to reopen Wednesday with added safety precautions, after review and inspection by VCH and WorkSafeBC. Brandi’s said none of its staff members have tested positive for the virus.

Earlier Wednesday, health officials said they would boost inspections and enforcement on bars and nightclubs that do not follow COVID-19 guidelines.

Nightclubs are not permitted to operate until B.C. enters Phase 4 of its pandemic plan, but provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says they may operate if they re-purpose as pubs and follow appropriate regulations.

Read more: B.C. to crack down on nightclubs ignoring COVID-19 guidelines

Strip clubs were not specifically covered in B.C.’s reopening pans, but VCH has previously said it provided advice to some on reopening under the pandemic.

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“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 June.

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