Hookah Lounge in Regina suspends services as COVID-19 outbreak declared

The Hookah Lounge has suspended its services on Saturday, the same day the Saskatchewan Health Authority declared a COVID-19 outbreak at the nightclub.

An outbreak is declared when two or more people test positive for COVID-19 and are linked to a specific setting.

Read more: Outbreaks and potential COVID-19 exposures in Saskatchewan for the past 2 weeks

On Saturday, the Hookah Lounge posted a message on its business Facebook page announcing its temporary closure.

“The Lounge has been informed a recent customers (sic) has tested positive for COVID-19 during a time they were asymptomatic and unknowing of their condition,” reads the post.

“In an effort to keep all of our customers/staff healthy and safe, we have made the decision to suspend our lounge services for 2 to 3 weeks, pending the climate of the city’s infection rate.

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“We look forward to hosting you again soon.”

The nightclub asks people to be diligent with their health and to seek testing if they have symptoms of COVID-19.

The SHA has issued potential COVID-19 exposure alerts for the nightclub in recent days. Anyone who was at the lounge on Oct. 31 between 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., and on Nov. 1 from 9:15 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., is asked to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days after their visit.

Read more: COVID-19 outbreak declared at third Saskatoon nightclub

Global News reached out to the business for further comment but did not hear back in time for publication.

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Public health says outbreaks are issued to mobilize and coordinate a response to the infection. It is not necessarily an indicator of risk to the public.

Several COVID-19 outbreaks have been linked to nightclubs in Saskatchewan in recent weeks, primarily in Saskatoon.

On Oct. 28, the province’s chief medical health officer Dr. Saqib Shahab implemented further restrictions on Saskatoon restaurants, bars and nightclubs after community transmission of COVID-19 was linked to after-work socializing among young adults.

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Read more: Coronavirus outbreaks at Saskatoon nightclubs force government to restrict alcohol consumption

In Saskatoon, nightclubs can no longer serve alcohol past 10 p.m. to 9:30 a.m. the following day. Furthermore, they must close to customers by 11 p.m. No such restrictions exist elsewhere in the province.

Cases of COVID-19 continue to surge in Saskatchewan.

Shahab said this is the province’s first “true wave” of COVID-19 as previous cases were linked to travel or localized outbreaks, like in the north or southwest regions.

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Saskatchewan’s top doctor calls uptick in COVID-19 cases first ‘true wave’' 3:19 Coronavirus: Saskatchewan’s top doctor calls uptick in COVID-19 cases first ‘true wave’

Coronavirus: Saskatchewan’s top doctor calls uptick in COVID-19 cases first ‘true wave’

“I think the difference now is we’re seeing sustained increases in several parts of the province,” Shahab said during Tuesday’s provincial update on coronavirus.

“Now our peak is getting higher, so I would actually argue this is our true first wave and this is our first true test as a province in turning this around.

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“This is a bit broader, and that’s why it needs all of us to pull together and practice all these layers of protection more consistently.”

As of Sunday, there are 1,122 active cases in Saskatchewan with the majority of the cases existing in the Saskatoon, Regina and North Central zones.

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