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3 King Street bars and restaurants ordered closed by Toronto Public Health

Last Updated Sep 26, 2020 at 4:17 pm EDT

A sign appears outside of Casa Mezcal informing patrons of its closure due to violations of Health Protection and Promotion Act. CITYNEWS/Nicholas Jaggernauth

Toronto Public Health has identified MARBL, King Taps, and Casa Mezcal, all along King Street West, as three of the restaurants and bars ordered closed for violating terms under the Health Protection and Promotion Act.

The orders were issued after TPH said each establishment did not take the necessary steps to protect the public and their employees from the spread of COVID-19.

MARBL is located at 455 King St. W., King Taps is at 100 King St. W. inside First Canadian Place and Casa Mezcal is located at 291 King St. W.

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen De Villa said their investigation found a number of people are connected to more than one of the four businesses and that people who were infected with COVID-19 were employed by more than one of the four locations.

She added that at least one of the four businesses served food buffet-style, which is prohibited under existing provincial regulations.

De Villa says investigators identified situations where staff were working while ill and they also became aware of concerns that staff were being pressured work while sick.

De Villa says the businesses, who have been uncooperative with public health investigators, would not be allowed to reopen until they comply with the orders issued to them.

“These are not actions I take lightly,” said Dr. de Villa. “But I act first in the interest of public health based on the data and the facts of the matter.”

King Taps has released a statement on Instagram, saying guests who visited on September 6,9,10 and 11 should contact Toronto Public Health. They added a deep clean of the restaurant is being conducted and a review of their protocols is underway.

“The wellbeing of our guests and staff is our highest possible priority and we are cooperating fully with Toronto Public Health,” read the statement. “We will work with Toronto Public Health to determine our re-opening date.”

MARBL released a statement saying they had closed for “unforeseen circumstances” and will remain closed for the remainder of the weekend.

MARBL had previously been under investigation by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission after a video surfaced on social media showing dozens of patrons crammed into a partially outdoor seating section while surrounded by unmasked employees carrying drinks.

MARBL confirmed that the video was authentic, but insisted it did not show the restaurant was breaking public health rules, citing thunderstorms on that particular night forcing individuals under the covered portion of the patio.

“The two minutes of footage that has been shared is an anomaly and not reflective of the rest of the evening, which was all socially distanced,” the club said in a statement at the time.

Public health warns of potential COVID-19 exposure at “Yonge Street Warehouse”

Public health is also warning of possible COVID-19 exposure at the Yonge Street Warehouse, located at 336 Yonge Street.

“In the last few days, tests have confirmed that seven people linked to this establishment are positive for COVID-19,” a city news release said Saturday. “Five are employees and two are patrons. TPH has followed up with all known close contacts.”

The restaurant has not been ordered closed by public health.

Officials said they estimate about 1,700 people may have visited the restaurant between Sept. 10-17.

They ask that if you visited the restaurant during that time period, to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms for at least 14 days.

“If symptoms develop, please contact TPH, seek testing and immediately self-isolate,” public health added. “Please wear a mask when going for testing.”