INVERNESS: A local craft brewer has announced that its taproom and restaurant has re-opened following a closure triggered by the threat of a possible COVID-19 exposure.
Route 19 Brewing closed August 10 for a thorough sanitization of their facility after it was discovered a 38-year-old women from British Columbia had visited the taproom without self-isolating.
“We have been informed that an individual, who did not adhere to the self-isolation procedures when traveling from outside the Atlantic Bubble was in our taproom on Sunday,” Route 19 said of the woman who was there around noon. “We are working with public health authorities to determine when it will be appropriate to re-open our taproom. Be assured that the health and safety of our customers and staff is our top priority.”
The Nova Scotia Government still requires anyone traveling from outside the four Atlantic provinces to self-isolate for 14-days upon their arrival to the province as a precautionary measure against the spread of COVID-19.
Following an investigation by the Inverness District RCMP, after receiving a complaint, the customer was charged with a $1,000 fine under Nova Scotia’s Health Protection Act, and was also required to be administered a COVID-19 test, which came back negative.
“We found out through one of our employees who overheard a conversation elsewhere later on Sunday, and they brought it up to us,” Stefan Gagliardi, Route 19’s chief beer officer said. “It’s peak season and we just finally started to get the confidence of the public to go out, enjoy the province, and do some staycations. And then something like this happens.”
The brewery was told it wasn’t required to close as it was not a confirmed case of COVID-19, however the situation left the workers feeling unsafe.
“It doesn’t feel good. It’s not a good feeling because out staff didn’t feel safe. As a business and, our staff together, we decided we weren’t willing to take that risk,” Gagliardi said. “It affects their families from their safety and their livelihoods. It was a difficult decision, but they were onboard and didn’t feel safe.”
The closure affected about 40 employees including, kitchen and cleaning crews, bartenders, waiters, and waitresses.
Customers who were in the Route 19 taproom during the time of the individuals visit were advised they were not required to self-isolate but rather should continue to monitor themselves for any symptoms ad call 811 if any of the symptoms develop.
Route 19 announced the negative test result via their social media channels August 14 and re-opened for regular service on Saturday, after a five-day closure.
“It just affects us in a way that feels a little bit unfair because everybody is trying to do their best.”