On Sunday, Nov 28, 2021, KFL&A Public Health released a statement announcing a positive COVID-19 case at a wedding reception that took place at the Italo-Canadian Club on Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021.
Nella Belcastro, President of the Italo-Canadian Club of Kingston addressed the community in a public statement, saying that the venue took all necessary and recommended precautions while hosting this event, and kept the safety of the community at the forefront of their planning at all times.
“Since the Government announcement of needing to be fully vaccinated to enter certain non-essential facilities like ourselves was established on Sept. 22, 2021, we have been ensuring anyone who enters our building, including staff, is fully vaccinated by requiring they show proof of two vaccinations and valid photo ID, as per government regulations,” she stated, noting that the event on Nov. 20 was no exception.
“Every single person who entered was asked to sign in with their name and phone number for contact tracing purposes and was screened at the door by our staff,” Belcastro continued. “Every guest was able to present vaccine proof and ID (with the exception of young children who were ineligible for the vaccine).”
Belcastro pointed out that they are aware that being vaccinated does not eliminate the possibility of getting COVID-19.
“With cases rising in Kingston, we went the extra step and also took the temperature of every guest entering our facility that night. Nobody was showing symptoms or had a high temperature at the time of the event and during the event, guests were asked to wear their masks unless actively eating or drinking, as directed by KFLA,” she explained.
“Our hearts dropped when we got the news of a positive case linked to one of our events. We have been working very closely with KFLA [Public Health] on this situation and want the public to be reassured that we have and always will follow all government guidelines in place to protect our community, especially since the majority of our members and volunteers are high-risk individuals.”
According to Belcastro, the Italo-Canadian Club promptly provided Public Health with the contact tracing sheets so that all who attended the reception could be contacted. “The staff who worked that event were asked to get tested and we are relieved to say that all have now received negative results, with just one still awaiting confirmation,” she said.
“Though this news has shaken us, we will continue to learn and grow from this experience. We know we did everything we could to try and avoid this situation and we will continue to work diligently to ensure Kingstonians have a safe experience at our venue. We hope that all who attended the event that evening will stay safe, get tested, recover quickly and do everything in their power to help keep our community safe.”