Redneck dance cubes removed from Saskatoon bar after COVID-19 infections
A bar in Saskatoon with COVID-19 infections is claiming that health inspectors approved their "redneck dance cubes."
The Longbranch, owned by the Ramada hotel chain, was recently flagged by the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) for possible COVID-19 exposure and anyone who visited the bar on Oct. 8 is being told to self-isolate if they did not follow public health guidelines.
"Medical Health officer Dr. Hortense Tabien emphasized that attending these events while sick and or attending without complying with public health recommendations for mass gathering puts you and everyone in your surrounding in your community at greater risk of infection with COVID-19," SHA said in a news release.
"Those who attended and complied with public health precautions (wearing masks all time, kept their physical distance with others for 2 meters, stayed with their household, and did not shared drinks) are asked to self-monitor for 14 days."
The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) is recommending that anyone who attended The Longbranch in Saskatoon on October 8th, 2020 to immediately self-isolate and call Healthline 811 for risk assessment if they meet the following criteria:https://t.co/X9UVBcJjpM— Saskatchewan Health Authority (@SaskHealth) October 16, 2020
Back in September, though, the bar took to social media to promote what they called "redneck dance cubes" as a space where up to four people could dance together. The cubes consist of wooden frames encased in plexiglass, except for an opening where dancers can enter.
"The goal is simply to be able to dance and maybe win some prizes. So far we have had up to 4 in the space (if they are in the same group). People are having fun with it," the bar wrote in a since-deleted Facebook comment.
According to Darryl Caudle, Ramada's vice-president of hotel operations in Saskatoon, SHA inspectors took photos of the cubes and approved them before the bar reopened on Sept. 3. It closed in April due to the pandemic.
"In fact, they said they liked it because it actually helped avoid congregation on the dance floor," Caudle told CBC, adding that the bar takes people's names at the door and called patrons to tell them about the COVID-19 exposure.
In a Sept. 12 Facebook post since taken down, The Longbranch bar at #Saskatoon's Ramada hotel said the cubes were meant for people in the same household or bubble. #skpoli #sask #saskatchewan #covid19 pic.twitter.com/5NkYPUkgMZ— Guy Quenneville (@gqinsk) October 16, 2020
However, in a written statement to Freshdaily, Dr. Simon Kapaj, medical health officer in Saskatoon with the SHA said that dance cubes aren't permitted within the Re-Open Saskatchewan Plan.
"Saskatchewan Health Authority public health inspection takes the guidelines outlined within the Re-Open Saskatchewan Plan very seriously in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19," the statement reads.
"As per the Restaurants and Licensed Establishments Guidelines within the Re-Open Saskatchewan Plan, dance floors and karaoke are not currently permitted. This would also include 'dance cubes.'"
Scott Livingstone, SHA's CEO, also told CBC he was not aware of any assessment of the cubes.
The bar is currently closed for a deep cleaning and the cubes have been removed.
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