An employee at Bear & Joey, a downtown Victoria café, has tested positive for COVID-19 and owners have opted to temporarily close down as a safety precaution. (Bear & Joey/Instagram)

Downtown Victoria café temporarily closed after employee tests positive for COVID-19

Risk of transmission ‘extremely low’, owners say

A café in downtown Victoria has temporarily closed its doors after an employee tested positive for COVID-19 but owners say the risk to customers and other staff is low.

Just before 9 p.m. on Friday (Sept. 25), the owners of Bear & Joey, a restaurant located near the intersection of Cook and Fort streets, confirmed in a Facebook post that a staff member had tested positive for COVID-19 and announced that the restaurant would be closed for deep cleaning.

To our valued customers,

One of our staff members has unfortunately tested positive for COVID-19. They are at home,…

Posted by Bear & Joey on Friday, September 25, 2020

READ ALSO: B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

The social media statement went on to explain that the employee worked Thursday, Sept. 17 through Monday, Sept. 21 but had not interacted with customers, had no symptoms while at work and followed all safety protocols including wearing a mask and practising proper hand hygiene.

The owners added that they’ve been in contact with the sick employee who is at home and “feeling well.”

While authorities did not advise that the café close following the incident, Bear & Joey’s doors will be temporarily shut as a precaution, the owners explained. The business will work with the BCHA to conduct “a robust review of [the] restaurant” along with sanitizing and taking other precautionary measures before reopening.

“We have been assured by the BC Health Authority (BCHA) that the chance of transmission to staff and customers is ‘extremely low’,” the Facebook post read.

READ ALSO: Central Saanich police sport personalized face masks

According to the statement, Bear & Joey staff have adhered to all BCHA protocols including physical distancing, deep cleaning, mask-wearing and providing hand sanitizer. The owners also explained that should a customer need to be contacted in relation to the positive case, the health authority would use the contact tracing data collected by the café.

A reopening date was not listed in the statement but the owners said a date will be announced via the café’s social media.

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