Chateau Lafayette temporarily closed after patron tests positive for COVID-19

By Alex Goudge

The Chateau Lafayette, on York Street in the Byward Market, has temporarily closed its doors after a patron who visited the bar on St. Patrick's Day tested positive for COVID-19.

According to the Laff's general manager Deek LaBelle, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) deemed the case as low-risk for the establishment, but the bar is being proactive for the public's safety in an attempt to get ahead of any possible transmission.

The tavern's staff are in the process of getting tested for the virus, and LaBelle is hopeful the bar will be able to reopen by Saturday.  Anyone who visited the Laff between March 17 and 19 is encouraged to monitor for symptoms.

LaBelle feels frustrated over having to temporarily close, following expanded indoor dining capacity and warm weather in Ottawa.

“We probably would have been able to really make up for some of the closures we've had over the last two months, and with the changes of capacity, with the 50 per cent rather than just 10 people indoors… that makes a big, big, big difference for us,” she explains in an interview with CityNews.

LaBelle adds, the bar is currently holding up amid the pandemic, thanks to supports from governments and its landlord, and she doesn't feel they're at risk of permanently closing.

She is hopeful the Laff will be able to reopen as early as Saturday.

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