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‘It gets a bit more personal’: 6 Steinbach businesses closed over COVID-19 concerns

The Smitty's location in Steinbach, Man. The restaurant is now closed after a team member there tested positive for COVID-19.
The Smitty's location in Steinbach, Man. The restaurant is now closed after a team member there tested positive for COVID-19. Google Maps

Six businesses in Steinbach, Man., have been closed after employees at three companies tested positive for the coronavirus.

The Smitty’s in Steinbach says on Aug. 1 it was made aware of one of its team members testing positive for the virus, though they weren’t showing symptoms at the time.

Read more: Manitoba records 18 new COVID-19 cases Sunday

“She’s a server under 25 years of age, and is a part-time worker of three to four shifts per week,” says Jim Weidinger of Smitty’s Canada. “A family member [of the staff member] displayed symptoms earlier this week and went to be tested.”
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“At that time, following our protocols, the team member went into self-isolation until that family member’s results were confirmed.”

Weidinger says the server hasn’t been in the building since Monday, July 27.

Smitty’s in Steinbach has closed after a member of its staff tested positive for COVID-19. / MALIKA KARIM
Smitty’s in Steinbach has closed after a member of its staff tested positive for COVID-19. / MALIKA KARIM.

The management has closed the restaurant while it undergoes a deep cleaning and the rest of the staff gets tested.

“Our team has been directed to be tested immediately and we have arranged for a professional deep clean and disinfection this coming Tuesday. We will not open our doors until we have completely cleared the restaurant and our team have all been cleared,” said Jim Weidinger, president, Smitty’s Canada.

The hometown branch of the Steinbach Credit Union says, like Smitty’s, they were notified on Saturday that one of its employees tested positive for the virus.

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That employee has also not been at work since July 27.

Read more: COVID 19 Alert app faces accessibility criticism for older Canadians, marginalized groups

The credit union says all employees who were exposed to that employee are at home self-isolating and monitoring for symptoms.

Steinbach Credit Union in Steinbach closed its doors Aug 3 after a member of its staff tested positive for the coronavirus. / MALIKA KARIM
Steinbach Credit Union in Steinbach closed its doors Aug 3 after a member of its staff tested positive for the coronavirus. / MALIKA KARIM.

The branch will be open on Tuesday for regular business, after undergoing a thorough cleaning over the weekend.The Boston Pizza in Steinbach is also closed until at least Tuesday, Aug. 4, according to the company’s website.

After a staff member at Boston Pizza in Stienbach tested positive for COVID-19, the restaurant closed on Terry Fox Day. / MALIKA KARIM
After a staff member at Boston Pizza in Stienbach tested positive for COVID-19, the restaurant closed on Terry Fox Day. / MALIKA KARIM.

A representative from Boston Pizza International tells Global News that location has seen a positive case among its staff.

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“Our primary concern is the safety of BP guests and staff.  We therefore immediately closed the restaurant for a complete and thorough cleaning, and contacted the public health authorities and are following their direction.”

Read more: Canada reports 4 new deaths, 267 more coronavirus cases

Global News has also confirmed the Canadian Tire store in the city is closed on Monday.

The positive cases have prompted at least two other businesses, Bigg Smoak BBQ and Sawney Beans Pub, to close for cleaning despite having no instances of the virus among their staff.

The full weight of the pandemic has hit home for Steinbach native DJ Reimer.

“It gets a little bit more personal. Now you say ‘oh, maybe I know this person, maybe I’ve been in contact with them,’ whereas before you see it’s in Brandon, it’s in Winnipeg, this is sad.”

“Everyone is kind of on edge, but I feel like everyone is still taking their precautions.”

Reimer spoke to 680 CJOB on the way to work on Monday – and says he’s not concerned for his safety or that of any of his customers, as he believes all the businesses that remain open have the right measures in place.

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The temporary closures come after Manitoba saw its biggest single-day increase in COVID-19 cases in nearly five months on Sunday, with 18 new cases being identified.

As of Friday, the active case total was 70, with six people in hospital, five of whom were in intensive care.

Manitoba’s total positive and probable positive case count was 435 as of Sunday morning.