Pai temporarily closed after staffer tests positive for COVID-19 (UPDATED)

The popular Entertainment District spot for Northern Thai food is undergoing deep sanitation


Popular Toronto restaurant Pai has temporarily closed after a kitchen staffer tested positive for COVID-19.

In a statement posted on the restaurant’s Instagram account, co-owner Jeff Regular said the staffer’s last shift was August 3.

The Northern Thai restaurant, located in the Entertainment District, is undergoing “deep sanitation.” The rest of the staff is being tested and in self-isolation, he said.

No other staffers are experiencing symptoms, Regular added.

“We will only reopen when we feel it is safe to do so and only with team members who have tested negative,” Regular wrote. “Our thoughts are with our teammate and we wish everyone who has been directly affected by this devastating virus a speedy recovery. We apologize to everyone who had upcoming reservations for the inconvenience, and we look forward to welcoming you back at Pai very soon.”

View this post on Instagram

While we were looking forward to welcoming you back in our doors, we unfortunately have to close them again. In these challenging times, we believe complete transparency is the only way forward. We regret to announce that a team member in the kitchen has tested positive for COVID-19. The team member, whose last shift at Pai was on Monday, went to get tested out of precaution and is currently quarantining at home. We have immediately closed our restaurant until further notice for deep sanitation and the full team at Pai is being tested and in self-isolation, although no other team members are experiencing symptoms. We will only reopen when we feel it is safe to do so and only with team members who have tested negative. Our thoughts are with our teammate and we wish everyone who has been directly affected by this devasting virus a speedy recovery. We apologize to everyone who had upcoming reservations for the inconvenience, and we look forward to welcoming you back at Pai very soon 🙏🏼🙏🏼❤️❤️

A post shared by Jeff Regular (@paitoronto) on

Toronto’s strict restaurant measures

Pai’s temporary closure comes less than a week after Toronto moved into stage 3 of Ontario’s reopening plan. Dine-in restaurants and bars are among the businesses that can reopen in stage 3.

Before Toronto entered stage 3, city council enacted additional public health measures for restaurants and bars to follow.

The rules include table size limits, contact tracing protocols and a requirement that patrons remain seated except when using the restroom or paying the bill.

Council passed the rules based on recommendations from Toronto chief medical officer of health Eileen de Villa.

Toronto Public Health officials have said they are closely watching reopenings in other cities, where spikes in new COVID-19 cases have been linked to restaurants and bars.

In July, Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey found that at least 400,000 people previously employed in the food service sector were still out of work.

UPDATE (August 10, 2020): Pai has announced that their patio is back open.

“As of today, over 90 per cent of the test results have come back from our staff and all have tested negative,” the restaurant’s management wrote on Instagram.

They added that their satellite ghost kitchen in Etobicoke, which was closed as an emergency precaution, is back open.

However, the dining room at Pai remains closed for now.

@nowtoronto

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