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Multiple visitors to Vancouver strip club test positive for COVID-19
Published Saturday, June 27, 2020 1:39PM PDT Last Updated Sunday, June 28, 2020 11:55AM PDT
VANCOUVER -- A Vancouver strip club is closed and the local health authority is warning the public after multiple people who visited the lounge this week tested positive for COVID-19.
Vancouver Coastal Health is warning anyone who visited Brandi's Exotic Show Lounge on Hornby Street in downtown Vancouver on the evenings of June 21, 22, 23 and 24 that they may have been exposed to the coronavirus.
Everyone who attended the club between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. on each of those nights, including the hours between midnight and 3 a.m. on June 25, is asked to monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days.
A notice on the club's website indicates that it is closed to address "concerns" from VCH.
The health authority says multiple people who tested positive for COVID-19 attended Brandi's on the dates mentioned. VCH did not say whether the people who tested positive are believed to have contracted the virus at the strip club.
Vancouver Coastal Health says there was no risk to anyone attending Brandi's outside of the dates and times specified, and there is no ongoing risk to the community.
Symptoms of COVID-19 may include loss of smell, fatigue, loss of appetite, fever, cough, malaise, runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, the health authority said.
People who attended the facility during the specified hours do not need to self-isolate or alter their daily routines, as long as they remain healthy and do not develop symptoms, Vancouver Coastal Health said in a news release.
Anyone who develops any of the symptoms of COVID-19 should immediately self-isolate and seek testing.
In an email, a spokesperson for WorkSafeBC told CTV News Vancouver there are no COVID-19 reopening guidelines specifically for facilities featuring exotic dancers, but protocols for both performing arts businesses and restaurants would apply.
All businesses are required to develop a COVID-19 safety plan as part of the province's reopening strategy, the spokesperson said.
"The COVID-19 safety plan advises employers that physical distancing, along with appropriate cleaning and hygiene practices, is one of the key control measures to reduce the risk of transmission," he said. "Employers would therefore need to determine what forms of entertainment could be offered, and the appropriate number of performers that the venue could accommodate, while maintaining physical distancing."
CTV News has contacted Brandi’s Exotic Show Lounge for comment. This story will be updated if and when a response is received.
Other strip clubs have taken pains to show they’re going above and beyond when it comes to preventing the spread of COVID-19.
A spokesperson for the No. 5 Orange Dance and Pub Showroom in Vancouver said employees watched Dr. Bonnie Henry’s updates daily and planned their reopening carefully.
The business spent $8,000 to put Plexiglass around the stage where dancers perform, and to add Plexiglass barriers between booths and around the bar. Lap dances are also on hold for now, and customers have to throw their tips (bills only) over the top of the Plexiglass barrier.
The spokesperson said customers have appreciated being able to come back to the club, and No. 5 Orange now has a waiting list of dancers who want to work there because of the extra safety precautions.
But the business is concerned that Vancouver Coastal Health will start limiting the number of patrons to 50 people at a time – the amount currently allowed for a performance, not a bar.
Vancouver Coastal Health says that while a strip club is “acting as a bar,” it can set seating capacity based on physical distancing and barriers. But if the performance is viewed as an event, the club can only have 50 patrons.