Smitty’s Canada confirms Steinbach staff member tested positive for COVID-19

By | August 2, 2020

A part-time server at a Smitty’s location in Steinbach, Man., has tested positive for COVID-19, according to the president of the company.

The server’s last shift at the location on Park Road was on Monday, but her test results came back positive on Saturday night, said Jim Weidinger, the president of Smitty’s Canada.

“Our team have all been directed to be tested immediately and we have arranged for a professional deep clean and disinfection this coming Tuesday,” he said in an emailed statement to CBC News.

“We will not open our doors until we have completely cleared the restaurant and our team have all been cleared.”

Weidinger said the staff member who tested positive had been in self-isolation prior to receiving her test results because a family member had tested positive for COVID-19. The server is currently asymptomatic, he said.

On Sunday, 18 new cases were announced in Manitoba, marking the highest single-day jump in cases since early April.

Weidinger said Smitty’s Canada has strict policies in all restaurants that “meet or exceed government expectations,” including monitoring staff members’ temperatures, hand washing, disinfecting buildings every night and cleaning high-touch areas every half hour.

He says one of the ways it’s exceeding government protocols is its newest rule, which is in place at Smitty’s restaurants across Canada.

“Effective immediately we have also implemented mandatory masks on all team members even though [Manitoba] provincial guidelines do not require it currently,” he said.

“We take the safety of our team and guests very seriously and will continue to manage in accordance with the strictest of guidelines.”

CBC News reached out to Smitty’s in Steinbach, which is about 50 kilometres southeast of Winnipeg and is overseen by the Southern Heath region, but the manager deferred comment to Smitty’s Canada.

They said in a Facebook post to customers that they wish the server a continued asymptomatic recovery and pledged support.

“To our loyal guests — we hope to welcome you back again when it is safe to do so. We appreciate your patience and understanding,” the Facebook post said.

CBC News has reached out to Manitoba’s public health officials but they didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Manitoba’s chief public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin is scheduled to brief the public on the latest updates on COVID-19 in the province on Tuesday at 1 p.m.

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