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COVID outbreak at Junior's Sportsbar grows to eight as second patron tests positive

Outbreak was declared on Oct. 25
(stock photo)

The number of COVID infections linked to an outbreak at Junior's Sportsbar and Grill has grown to eight, almost two weeks after an employee tested positive at the Cambridge restaurant Oct. 23.

The eighth infection is also the second to be reported among patrons of the Franklin Boulevard restaurant, which reopened for business Monday after voluntarily closing the day the first positive case was reported among staff.

Both patron cases are considered "breakthrough" infections since all customers there to dine inside are required to show proof of vaccination with ID.

Five employees tested positive for COVID over the first weekend of exposure, four of which weren't fully vaccinated. A sixth positive case was reported in a sibling of one of the infected employees.

When the outbreak was declared by Public Health on Oct. 25, patrons who were at the restaurant on Sunday, Oct. 17 up to and including Friday, October 22, were told they may have been exposed to COVID-19 and are considered to be high risk contacts.

Public Health said it later identified approximately 200 high-risk contacts and was able to reach out to all of them.

They were told to self isolate and get tested immediately.

The province requires all indoor dining establishments in Ontario to screen patrons for proof of vaccination at entry but does not require business owners to require the same of their staff.

"Transmission may have occurred due to multiple factors associated with indoor dining," associate medical officer of health Dr. Rabia Bana told CambridgeToday when the first patron case was identified.

"Face coverings or masks are not worn while seated and eating or drinking. Patrons also have close contact with the patrons they are dining with for prolonged periods of time, and certain indoor areas may have limited ventilation."