Toronto Public Health orders 3 King Street West businesses to close to slow COVID-19 spread

Toronto Public Health has ordered three establishments on King Street West to close to protect the public from COVID-19.

In a news release on Saturday, the public health unit said the establishments are:

  • MARBL, 455 King St. W.
  • King Taps, 100 King St. W.
  • Casa Mezcal, 291 King St. W.

Dr. Eileen de Villa, the city’s medical officer of health, issued the orders to the three businesses on Friday night under Section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act.

Toronto Public Health (TPH) said a fourth establishment will also be forced to close once it is served with the order. It was not named in the release.

“These closure orders were undertaken based on Toronto Public Health investigations, including contact tracing data, which has shown that each establishment has not taken the necessary steps to sufficiently protect both the public and employees from the spread of COVID-19,” the news release said.

The public health unit said it found that many people were connected to more than one of the three businesses. In some cases, people infected with COVID-19 worked at more than one of the locations.

One business in particular served food buffet style, which is prohibited under provincial regulations to slow the spread of COVID-19. Another business has been uncooperative with investigations and impeded the investigation.

“Staff have also been found to be working while ill or pressured to work while ill,” the news release said.

Toronto Mayor John Tory said in the release that enforcement officials identified the specific businesses and the city is taking action to slow the virus in the city.

“I hope this enforcement will ensure we are protecting employees and customers. Thankfully the vast majority of residents and businesses in our city are doing the right thing and following public health advice. We need that cooperation to continue so we can defeat this virus,” Tory said.

Coun. Joe Cressy, who represents Ward 10 Spadina-Fort York and is chair of the Toronto Board of Health, said the city is trying to prevent new cases and enforcement is needed now.

“New data shows that unsafe social activity at a select number of bars and nightclubs is contributing to the rise in COVID-19 cases in our city. That’s why our Medical Officer of Health is taking swift action to shut down four high-risk establishments until further notice,” Cressy said.

“Right now, we need to stop the spread of COVID and keep people safe, while also making it possible for kids to go to school, people to go to work and public services to operate safely.”

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