Public servant, drinking buddy force closure of five Ottawa establishments while waiting for COVID-19 test results

Public servant, drinking buddy force closure of five Ottawa establishments while waiting for COVID-19 test results

A Canadian public servant and his drinking buddy being blamed for the temporary closure of five Ottawa establishments after failing to self-isolate while waiting for their COVID-19 test results to be returned.

The two men, both in their 40s, went bar-hopping on Elgin Street after taking their tests.

Last week, when both men received a positive diagnosis for COVID-19, the public servant admitted that "he had visited a number of Elgin Street bars and restaurants."

Five establishments — including Deacon Brodies, Elgin Beer Project, St. Louis Bar and Grill, Lieutenant’s Pump and Waller Street Brewing — all closed down to test staff members after hearing the news.

Since the news of the COVID-positve patrons first emerged, at least one staff member at Waller Street Brewing was found to have contracted COVID-19 and the restaurant will be closed for the next two weeks.

According to a report in the Ottawa Citizen,

The two drinkers are known as customers who do not respect social distancing.

“There are just so many domino effects from this,” one bar owner said. Hundreds of servers, cooks and other contacts had to socially isolate and be tested for COVID-19.

“It drives me crazy: they’re government workers, working from home, and they go out and jeopardize livelihoods of all these people,” he fumed. “They’re not supposed to be out. They still go out.”