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Kingston Police find The Spot nightclub in compliance with COVID-19 protocols

The Spot nightclub on Division Street. Kingstonist file photo.

After a flurry of upset posts on social media about alleged non-compliance with COVID-19 protocols at The Spot, Kingston Police say they have investigated and found no wrongdoing on the part of the nightclub.

On Friday, Sept. 18, 2020, a Snapchat video was posted to the Facebook group ‘Overheard at Queen’s.’ That brief video shows a group of patrons dancing, several unmasked patrons, and those behind the bar with facemasks being worn improperly.

“Annnnd this is why (one of the reasons anyway) cases are going up….clubs open and reckless behaviour,” the poster of the video said in the post.

The more than 70 comments on the post include responses from The Spot co-owners Jordan West, and Matthew McEwen. In the posts, West admits that he is one of the people seen behind the bar in the video, appearing to wear his facemask on his chin.

“The Spot is operating with all guidelines, all staff are wearing masks. No dance floor is available for customers. Unfortunately during the clip this table decided to dance around for a short moment in their assigned area, and were immediately asked to not behave the way they were,” West said in his first comment on the post. “It is not an easy task to constantly ask people to not have fun, but it is happening.”

West initially asserts that the video shows his staff are clearly wearing masks, but some following the post take issue with the comment, pointing out that it is not clear staff are wearing masks.

West then states that he is the one wearing a black hat in the video, and that he and a bartender are “certainly” wearing masks.

Still from the Snapchat video taken inside The Spot nightclub showing owner Jordan West (black hat) wearing his mask improperly.

While the quality of stills from the video is low, it appears that the person West asserts as himself in the video is not properly wearing a mask. When this is pointed out in the comments, McEwen weighs in, aggressively defending his colleague.

“You have one stupid picture of Jordan wearing his mask as he talks to a customer sitting down and due to the loud music he has to move his mask so a customer could hear clearly as it’s difficult to communicate over loud music through masks,” McEwen said. “Again, if you don’t go to the spot don’t go on about restrictions not being followed, you clearly have no idea what you’re talking about and just talking out your ass.”

Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington (KFL&A) Public Health confirmed to Kingstonist that they had received “many complaints” about the video and had referred the case over to Kingston Police, as police handle the enforcement of Public Health mandates for them.

Kingston Police also confirmed that they had looked into the case.

Const. Ash Gutheinz, Media Relations Officer for Kingston Police, said officers investigated the nighclub over the weekend and “found the nightclub to have a low number of patrons in attendance.”

“All staff was found to be wearing masks and no non-compliance issues were observed with either patrons or staff,” he said.

Therefore, no fines have been issued to The Spot as a result.

It should be noted that Public Health Canada has reminded establishments that loud music is discouraged, as it causes people to speak more loudly when attempting to socialize, which could increase the risk of spreading COVID-19. Additionally, KFL&A Public Health, along with Public Health units across the province and the country, have repeatedly underlined that singing and dancing (both of which appear to occur in the video) are prohibited at this time due to the pandemic.

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