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Squamish's Cork and Craft Taphouse temporarily shuts due to COVID-19

Some staffers have come down with the virus, prompting the restaurant to close until April 15.
Cork and Craft Taphouse recently built an enlarged outdoor dining area to comply with the latest COVID-19 health restrictions.

Squamish's Cork and Craft Taphouse has announced that it will be temporarily closing due to COVID-19.

On April 6, the restaurant said in a social media post its staff had been exposed to the virus, prompting its closure.

It will reopen at 12 p.m. on April 15.

"It is with heavy hearts that we post this announcement, it has been revealed that we have had staff members that have contracted COVID-19," reads the post.

"Upon notification, we have been working with Vancouver Coastal Health and our local health inspector. We have decided to close temporarily while the affected staff go through the healing process and isolation protocol."

The restaurant said it has upheld industry standards of cleanliness.

The establishment is not listed on VCH's public health exposure alert list.

"We hope to count on your support upon our reopening next Thursday, as you have all been so amazing since we opened last August," the statement continues. "We look forward to welcoming you back to enjoy all that we offer on our new extended patio."

In a follow-up call, owner Cami Tedder said the exposure likely happened two weeks ago when a patron was at the bar.

It did not happen when people were being served at the establishment's recently-created outdoor patio, she said.

She said this customer called to inform the restaurant they might've exposed the virus to some of the staff.

Then a hostess reported she felt unwell.

"That's when we decided, OK, everybody go get tested — and everyone did," said Tedder.

"I need to protect my patrons and I got to protect the staff. I did everything the way I felt was the right thing to do. You know, I'm trying to protect everyone, including myself and my general manager."

She declined to say how many people may have contracted the virus, but said out of caution, she chose to close the restaurant temporarily.

The staff members who were affected have been doing OK, she added.

Tedder said it's been a particularly hard time for her business, which recently opened.

Cork and Craft has been met with challenges in qualifying for relief, she said, because as a new business, it doesn't have records from 2019 to show how the pandemic has created a shortfall.

It's put her business in dire straits, and Tedder said that things are looking grave.

"I know everybody is in the same boat together, but some of us are being hit a lot harder than others and this industry is definitely one of them," she said.

She urged the community to help support the establishment. While buying gift cards aren't an option while it's closed, she's hoping the reopening will see many people come out.

"We literally can't physically do business for 10 days, so when we open, the best thing is just to come out and check on our patio," said Tedder.

She said she's pushing hard to get her staff vaccinated. She's been asking the health authority if they can bump her staff up the line as a result of the exposure.

"I can't be shut down for more than 10 days. I literally won't survive it," Tedder said.