Restaurant at heart of COVID outbreak remained open after outbreak first declared

CALGARY — An outbreak at Joey Eau Claire now accounts for 34 cases, including 18 confirmed cases with variants of concern.

As of Thursday, 16 of the cases had recovered.

The outbreak was first declared by AHS March 13. The restaurant was open at least intermittently until March 20.

It’s not clear how many of the cases were staff and how many were customers. Attempts to reach management for comment have so far not been successful.

CTV News has spoken with one woman who says she is one of four cases in her immediate circle who believe they contracted the novel coronavirus during lunch at the restaurant on the 13th.

UNCOMFORTABLE DECISIONS

The Alberta Hospitality Association says its members have to make some uncomfortable decisions.

“I’m not accepting a group of six adults together, optically it just doesn’t look right,” said Leslie Echino, owner of Annabelle’s Kitchen and co-founder of the AHA. “For the health of myself, you know we’re speaking to people without their masks on.”

On November 24 Premier Jason Kenney said only a fraction of a per cent of cases could be linked to restaurants and pubs. At the time the majority of cases were not traced to a source. The province’s tracing system is still unable to pin down a source of infection for roughly one-third of current infections.

Joey Eau Claire was still voluntarily closed as of Thursday afternoon.

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