Hamilton restaurant and bar Cause & Effect finds themselves in the middle of some online controversy after they announced a patron who attended their patio on Saturday night had COVID-19.
Stage 3 of the province’s reopening plan began in Hamilton on Friday, which allowed restaurants and bars to inch closer to providing regular indoor and outdoor services.
This bar was crowded last night.
Someone there, apparently awaiting a test result, tested positive for COVID.
The bar decided the best way to tell p ppl on FB was a story. An obscure post format that automatically goes away after 24hrs.
— The Bearded 'Settler on Stolen Land' Giant (@StewKlazinga) July 27, 2020
Cause & Effect announced on their social media pages that they were informed by public health that someone who visited the restaurant on Saturday between 8 pm and 12 am has tested positive for COVID-19, meaning that any other patrons present at the time were potentially exposed to the virus.
“We take this very serious and have done the necessary precautions to sanitize our restaurant,” read the statement posted on Instagram and Facebook.
Although the restaurant was transparent with the incident, locals on social media were quick to point out that Cause & Effect only shared the information in Instagram and Facebook stories, which expire 24 hours after they’re posted. The restaurant has since posted the news to their social media feeds. .
Other patrons of the restaurant also claim that Cause & Effect has not been collecting visitors’ phone numbers or emails to aid in contact tracing.
As well, photos from Saturday night started to appear on Twitter and Reddit showing the patio area packed with patrons and very little physical distancing taking place.
“I’ve talked to someone that went on Friday night. Can confirm no contact tracing in place, no social distancing, no rules on intermingling between tables,” wrote Reddit user sabre38.
The individual who tested positive for the virus allegedly attended the Cause & Effect patio after taking a COVID-19 test and was awaiting the results.
According to the statement from Cause & Effect, they hired a company that provided electrostatic disinfection to spray the restaurant after reopening. The cleaner is approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use against COVID-19 and lasts up to 15 days.