Kingston, Ont. nail salon outbreak grows to 22 confirmed cases of COVID-19
A sign on the door of Binh's Nails and Spa in Kingston says a customer tested positive for COVID-19. (Kimberley Johnson/CTV News Ottawa)
OTTAWA -- Four days after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared at a Kingston, Ont. nail salon, the city's top doctor says he's "confident" they will be able to limit the spread of novel coronavirus in the community.
Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Public Health now says 22 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 are connected with the outbreak at Binh's Nails and Spa in Kingston. There have been six new cases of COVID-19 in Kingston since Friday.
On Thursday, KFLAPH announced an outbreak of COVID-19 linked to the salon on Gardiners Road. The 22 confirmed cases of COVID-19 linked to the salon include six employees, six customers and nine close contacts.
In an interview with CTV News Ottawa, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore said over 2,500 people were tested for COVID-19 in Kingston over the past week.
"So over 2,500 people and we've only had 21 positive tests to date. To me that's very good news," Dr. Moore said Sunday afternoon before the 22nd case was confirmed.
"I think we're getting a handle on this and we're going to be able to limit the spread of this."
Public health instructed the more than 500 customers who had visited Binh's Nails and Spa between June 12 and 24 to self-isolate for 14 days and monitor for symptoms of the virus. If any symptoms manifested, they were told to be tested right away.
"It's a near miss in my estimation because many of the people that had gone to the spa had also been workers in our acute care sector, our chronic care sector and had been associated with positive cases of workers that work in our corrections," said Dr. Moore about the city's efforts to contain the spread of the virus.
"We were able to limit it this time, but it was a near miss in my estimation and we have to do better at adhering to best practices."
In a message posted to YouTube Sunday afternoon, Dr. Moore said all residents and businesses have a role to play to limit the spread of the virus moving forward.
"It takes a community. It’s all about prevention; it’s all about good hand-hygiene, good masking in public where you can’t maintain that physical distance."
There are currently no patients in hospital in Kingston with COVID-19, and there are no COVID-19 cases in long-term care homes and retirement homes.
In a statement to CTV News Ottawa last week, the owner of Binh's Nail and Spa salon, Binh Nguyen said, "We'd like to apologize that this happened. We encourage everyone who's been in our salon since the 12th to get tested."
A second nail salon in Kingston, Kingdom Nails and Spa on Fortune Crescent, has been linked to the outbreak at Binh's. Kingdom Nails says an employee of theirs, who rents from Binh's, tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday.
KFLAPH will be working with the nail salons on a reopening strategy once all workers are finished their 14-day quarantine.
Public health inspectors and City of Kingston bylaw officers will be visiting all personal care settings to make sure best practices are followed to limit the spread of COVID-19.
"To ensure that these businesses remain safe for our community," said Dr. Moore about efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19 in salons and spas.
"We will be offering (COVID) testing to their workers because we have to figure out why this happened and ensure that it doesn’t happen in the future."
On Friday, a public health order mandated that everyone must wear masks inside all public spaces in Kingston until further notice.
Dr. Moore is optimistic businesses and residents will continue to follow public health directions to limit the spread in the community, including wearing face masks indoors.
"I'm more confident this week than I was last week that we can limit the spread of this, we can maintain our economy staying open and remain a kind and welcoming community."