brass rail covid

Toronto visitor tests positive for COVID-19 after going to Brass Rail strip club

At least one person who visited Toronto's Brass Rail Tavern during the time an employee is thought to have been infected with COVID-19 has now tested positive for the virus.

Toronto Public Health announced late Tuesday that someone who "lives outside of Toronto" developed symptoms consistent with the highly-contagious coronavirus after attending the strip club sometime between Aug. 4 and 9.

That person has now tested positive for the virus, though it is unclear if visiting the Brass Rail had anything to do with it. TPH is currently working with an unnamed health unit outside of Toronto to investigate the case's source of infection.

"As this case is still under investigation and to protect the person's privacy and personal health information, we are not able to share their place of residence at this time," said Toronto's associate medical officer of health, Dr. Vinita Dubey, in a statement.

"TPH has attempted to contact all individuals listed on the contact tracing logs and followed up with staff and close contacts of the case."

Some 550 people are thought to have been exposed to COVID-19 at the Brass Rail during the following employee shift times:

  • Aug. 4 from 7 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. (Aug. 5)
  • Aug. 5 from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. (Aug. 6)
  • Aug. 7 from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. (Aug. 8)
  • Aug. 8 from 7 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. (Aug. 9)

Anyone who attended the Brass Rail Tavern while the employee who tested positive was working is asked to "monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms for the 14 days after their last visit during this time period."

People who visited the club outside of those times are not at risk, according to public health officials.

Unfortunately, as TPH admitted on Friday, visitor information logs from the establishment at 701 Yonge St. were found to be incomplete for the period of potential exposure.

The business has been issued a notice of non-compliance for failing to take down the (real) names and phone numbers of at least one patron from each group, as well as for failing to enforce mandatory physical distancing rules.

"The Brass Rail closed its doors immediately when we heard that an employee may have tested positive for COVID-19" reads a statement from the club issued Friday. "The safety of our city, staff and patrons is always our top priority."

While they purport to already have "strict safety precautions in place," owners say they voluntarily closed the club for 72 hours after learning of the COVID-19 case, and that they "hired a professional sanitization/disinfecting crew to thoroughly sanitize (in hazmat suits) the Brass Rail in its entirety."

The famous downtown strip club, which only reopened to the public on July 31 after more than four months of pandemic-mandated closure orders, has been operational again since at least Friday.

Lead photo by

Brass Rail Tavern


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