MLHU declares COVID-19 outbreak tied to Lost Love Social House

FILE - Lost Love Social House as seen in January 2021 in London, Ont., 153 Carling St. via Google Maps/Jan. 2021

Just days after declaring a COVID-19 outbreak at Delilah’s just off Richmond Row, the Middlesex-London Health Unit has declared another outbreak at a separate downtown bar.

On Wednesday, the health unit announced that an outbreak has been declared over five cases connected to Lost Love Social House at 153 Carling St., all involving individuals who were either unvaccinated or partially vaccinated.

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“We know that there’s been lots of activity at the Richmond Row bar and nightclub scene — understandably, given how long it’s been since people have been able to enjoy that type of activity,” associate medical officer of health Dr. Alex Summers told Global News.

“However, it means that there are lots of people in close quarters. And unfortunately, with the Delta strain, transmission evidently can happen quite readily. With these five cases identified now, plus what has been seen at Delilah’s, we have over 20 cases linked over a short period of time to congregate settings where people are gathering in indoor environments at bars and restaurants.”

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The health unit says five individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 were at Lost Love the night of Saturday, Aug. 7 and into the early hours of Sunday, Aug. 8.

Anyone who was at Lost Love at that time is asked to monitor themselves for symptoms, regardless of whether they’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19. If any symptoms develop, the MLHU urges individuals to visit a COVID-19 assessment centre to get tested.

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On Sunday, the MLHU declared an outbreak after 15 patrons of Delilah’s tested positive for COVID-19. The health unit previously said it was notified of three cases associated with the bar at 209 John St. on Friday. The MLHU was notified of 12 more cases on Saturday.

Since that time, four secondary cases have also been associated with the Delilah’s outbreak for a total of 19 cases.

“We anticipate there may be a few more cases rolling in,” Summers told Global News.

“I want to say very strongly, if you were a staff person at any of these nightclubs and you’ve had symptoms, it’s absolutely critical that you get tested. It is absolutely essential that you get vaccinated. And of course, if you’ve been a patron at any of these sites, make sure that you test yourself if you have symptoms of COVID-19.”

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Summers adds that the health unit’s investigations into these outbreaks are ongoing and that to date, “we have been receiving cooperation on these investigations.”

“Our investigation is ongoing with regards to adherence to public health measures and the guidance under the regulations to be operating as a nightclub or bar at this time. Of course, if there’s a lack of compliance with any of those rules, we will have to explore potential repercussions.”

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This is not the first time either location has been connected to an outbreak of COVID-19.

In November 2020, the MLHU declared an outbreak at Delilah’s after three staff members tested positive.

Lost Love was among the locations listed in connection with a community outbreak involving Western University students last September.

At that time, the MLHU demonstrated that three households, one night at Lost Love and a few other gatherings were responsible for 15 of the cases associated with the community outbreak.

— with files from Global News’ Kelly Wang.

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