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Okanagan winery reopens after employee tests positive for COVID-19

Poplar Grove Winery near Penticton says it immediately closed its doors after learning of the positive coronavirus test, but reopened on Monday after a deep clean of the premises.
Poplar Grove Winery near Penticton says it immediately closed its doors after learning of the positive coronavirus test, but reopened on Monday after a deep clean of the premises. Global News

A well-known winery in B.C.’s South Okanagan has reopened its doors after an employee tested positive for COVID-19.

Poplar Grove Winery, on the Naramata Bench near Penticton, was closed over the weekend after being notified of the positive test on July 16.

The winery said the restaurant employee wasn’t showing any symptoms and wore a mask and gloves while at work, but that the tasting room and restaurant were immediately shut down upon receiving the news.

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“Out of an abundance of caution, we immediately shut down the winery tasting room and the restaurant so that we could consult with the Interior Health Authority to determine the next steps to ensure the safety of our valued guests and staff,” winery owner and president Tony Holler said in a press release sent to Global News on Friday.

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The press release said Interior Health “assured us that because of our diligent policies and safety and sanitation procedures, there is no significant risk to the public or our staff, and therefore they are not recommending testing or self-isolation of contacts.”

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The winery confirmed in an email on Monday that the restaurant was reopened on Monday after a “full building deep clean and disinfect,” said vice-president Chris Holler.

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Poplar Grove said although it was confident of its coronavirus protocols, guests who visited the restaurant on Saturday, July 11, and Sunday, July 12, and are concerned can receive further direction from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

Interior Health says it doesn’t speak to general cases in the community, but noted that it will name locations where there’s potential for significant exposure and timely contact tracing isn’t possible.

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IH also listed the following COVID-19 precautions:

  • Stay home and avoid travel if you have symptoms, even mild ones.
  • Maintain physical distancing and use masks when distancing is not possible.
  • Wash your hands regularly and do not touch your face.
  • Do not plan or attend gatherings of more than 50 people. Limit gatherings to out of doors whenever possible.
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