kingston covid 19

Kingston is blaming people from Toronto for new COVID-19 outbreak

A new COVID-19 outbreak at a nail salon in Kingston, Ontario has citizens pointing a [manicured] finger at Torontonians who apparently travelled into the area earlier this month before the latter city moved into Stage 2 of reopening.

After a staggering 500 customers came to Binh's Nails and Spa over the course of fewer than two weeks, the business has had 10 employees test positive for the novel virus and has now had to close back down.

So far, 18 active cases are being associated with the outbreak, and locals are blaming groups that apparently came to the city from Toronto to do things like golf, eat on patios and yes, get their nails done.

A server at a Kingston eatery told Global News on Thursday that in recent weeks, "probably more than half of our guests have been from out of town," which has been unnerving for those working in public-facing jobs nearby. 

One restaurant in the area — The Rustic Spud — has had to shut their doors this week as a result of a staff member testing positive.

While some social media users are expressing their disappointment in Kingston residents for behaviour that may have contributed to the recent spike, others are sharing unconfirmed stories of "busloads" of people coming into the region from cities like Toronto, which is a two hour and 40-minute drive away, to do activities they couldn't yet do at home.

Kingston was among the public health units permitted to move into Stage 2 — during which things like hair and nail salons, malls and restaurant patios could resume operations — on June 12.

Meanwhile, Toronto didn't get the green light until June 24 due to its recent COVID-19 numbers.

Kingston's daily new case counts had been at three or fewer (zero on most days) since early last month, but it has now seen 10 new cases in the last week alone.

Anyone who visited Binh's salon since June 12 is now being instructed to self-quarantine and get tested for the communicable disease while the establishment continues to reach out to potentially exposed parties.

Lead photo by

Binh Nguyen


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