The West Island location of the popular McKibbin’s Irish Pub has temporarily closed after an employee tested positive for the novel coronavirus. In a statement published to the bar’s Facebook page on Tuesday, McKibbin’s asked all those who recently attended the establishment to get tested for COVID-19. The bar, which has locations downtown, in the West Island, and in Vaudreuil, said the safety of its clients and staff is the "top priority."
"Although, the risk of exposure to our clients is low, as we have implemented all of the government safety guidelines, we would encourage anyone who has visited our West Island establishment to get tested," reads the statement.
The West Island establishment will be closed for the next 48 hours to disinfect and sanitize the space.
"This will also allow our entire staff to get tested before their return to work. We thank all of our loyal customers for their patience and understanding, and we look forward to seeing you all again soon," the statement concluded.
Around the city, bars have become a recurring source of outbreaks.
On July 11, Santé Montréal stated that despite the efforts of bar owners to keep their customers and employees safe, people infected with the coronavirus had attended at least five establishments since July 1.
At La Voûte, a well-known Old Montreal club, one person tested positive for the virus after visiting the establishment on July 4.
In Brossard, health officials urged all individuals who attended Mile Public House on June 30 to get tested.
Most of the new infections are among young people aged 15 to 39, said health officials.
"I'm afraid these observations only reflect the tip of the iceberg," said Dr. David Kaiser, medical chief of the Urban Environment and Healthy Lifestyles Service, in a statement.
"The pandemic is not behind us and community transmission is still very present in Montreal."
To lessen the impact of a potential second wave, it's important that people who suspect they have COVID-19 get tested and isolate themselves while waiting for the results, it continued.
Montreal public health said contact-tracing teams, whose job is to reach out to people who have come into contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, were able to notify some people exposed to the virus.
However, given the recent introduction of the program, the tracers were unable to locate all of the clients and it's "very likely" that other establishments have been visited by potentially infected people, reads the statement.
The problem has become so severe that public health authorities asked anyone who has set foot in a bar, as an employee or client, since July 1 to get tested.
Quebec is making masks mandatory in all enclosed public spaces across the province on July 18.
As of July 13, Montreal has had 27,628 confirmed coronavirus cases and 3,424 deaths.