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Annie’s Pub in Montreal’s West Island temporarily closed after employee tests positive for coronavirus

Annie’s pub temporarily shuts down after employee tests positive for coronavirus
A popular bar in Montreal's West Island is temporarily closed for business after a staffer tested positive for the new coronavirus. Global's Brayden Jagger Haines reports.

Annie’s Pub in Quebec has temporarily closed its doors after an employee tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The owner decided to close the long-standing Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue bar late Wednesday afternoon after hearing the results.

The employee was described as a “manager” and is said to have had limited interactions with clients since testing positive.

READ MORE: Bars and nightclubs will be breeding grounds for COVID-19 — experts

In a statement, the restaurant management said: “For the safety of our staff, our loyal patrons and our community, we have made the decision to close temporarily giving time to all our staff to get tested and for a professional team to disinfect the restaurant.”

“We’re closing because we care,” owner Steven Bracken said.

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Bracken says he is currently working with local public health officials to deal with the possible outbreak.

All who attended the waterfront eatery before Wednesday and feel symptoms are asked to get tested for the virus.

All 30 Annie’s Pub employees will also be tested before being allowed to return to work.

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In the meantime, certified crews are scheduled to decontaminate the space as of Friday, according to Bracken.

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“I thought we were bulletproof, but it only takes one person,” Bracken said.

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Bracken says the pub is doing all that it can to minimize the damage the positive test will cause.

He says he is still coming to terms with the news and finding it hard to believe.

“We did everything possible,” he said.

The pub has been operating at 40 per cent capacity since opening, with all the necessary social-distancing protocols in place, Bracken said.

READ MORE: Bars are ‘perfect place to break’ coronavirus distancing rules and should close — experts

“Closing down was the right and responsible thing to do,” said Jim Beauchamp, president of the Business Association of Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue.

The decision to temporarily close down the business and take on the potential financial risk shows the owners of Annie’s are taking the event seriously, Beauchamp says.

“They did everything they could do as a responsible business owner,” Beauchamp said.

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Annie’s is expected to remain closed for now. Bracken said he hopes to have the pub reopened within the next five to seven days.