Health unit says person with COVID-19 visited downtown restaurant

The Middlsex London Health Unit is calling on anyone who was at El Furntiure Warehouse on Richmond Street between 12 and 2 a.m. Monday to monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19.

A patron who tested positive for the novel coronavirus spent 2 hours at El Furniture Warehouse early Monday

Two people share a meal at an outdoor patio in downtown London, Ont. (Colin Butler/CBC)

The Middlesex London Health Unit (MLHU) was notified that a new case of COVID-19 involved an individual who spent two hours at a downtown restaurant and bar early Monday.

According to the health unit, the individual was at El Furniture Warehouse on Richmond Street between 12 a.m. and 2 a.m., Monday, Sept. 7.

While the MLHU considers the risk to other patrons to be low, they are advising anyone who was at the establishment during that time to monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19, and if any, to get tested.

"We are on the verge of a gathering storm of conditions that could lead to increased transmission of COVID-19, said Dr. Chris Mackie, London's medical officer of health in a statement. "Now is not the time to let our guard down."

The case comes after a woman in her 80s tested positive for the virus Thursday. She is living at a London retirement home, which is now listed as an outbreak.

Thousands of students have also returned to London for their post-secondary studies. Monday fell on the Labour Day long weekend leading into Western University's orientation week.

"We've seen post-secondary students return to our community and the temptation to have more social gatherings, or to move those gatherings indoors as temperatures cool, will be great. The importance of following public health guidance right now can't be underestimated" said Dr. Alex Summers, London's associate medical officer of health.

Safety reminders

The MLHU says the latest case serves as a reminder that everyone needs to take action to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by doing the following:

  • Keep your social circle to 10 people.
  • Maintain physical distancing of at least two metres.
  • Wear a mask while inside or where physical distancing isn't possible.
  • Visit an assessment centre to get tested if you are concerned you have COVID-19 or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer.
  • Cover coughs and/or sneezes with your sleeve or cough into your elbow.
  • Clean surfaces like handles and doorknobs frequently.

The health unit also advises Londoners to download the COVID Alert mobile app to be notified if you may have been exposed to the novel coronavirus, and to let others know if you test positive for the virus.