25 confirmed COVID-19 cases now linked to Kingston, Ont., nail salon

The health unit in the Kingston, Ont., area is confirming three more COVID-19 cases tied to a nail salon in the eastern Ontario city, warning all nail salons will be shut down if more are linked to a positive case.

Kieran Moore, the medical officer of health for Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health, said on CBC Radio’s Metro Morning on Monday the number of cases linked to Binh’s Nail and Spa at 500 Gardiners Rd. is up to 25 people.

Six of them are staff, six are clients and the rest are their close contacts, he said in a separate interview on CBC Radio’s Ontario Morning.

One of those close contacts works at a different salon in the city, which has closed. None of the 25 are in a hospital.

Kingston had 63 confirmed cases before this, including just two in May.

  • Kingston Mayor Bryan Paterson will be on CBC News Network around 11 a.m. ET.
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The health unit said Sunday in an email that more confirmed cases linked to local nail salons would mean it would order every nail salon under its jurisdiction to close.

Moore said Monday that decision would be made by the end of the week.

Questions about timing

Inspectors found Binh’s customers not wearing masks, the space not set up to properly distance, and best hygiene practices not being followed.

Moore said in retrospect, personal services such as nail salons may not have needed to open along with other businesses June 12.

“I don’t think we reopened too early; I just don’t think all businesses followed the best practices,” he said on Metro Morning.

“We were in a bit of a bubble, that bubble has burst, and now we have to maintain good hand hygiene [and] good mask-wearing … 500 people off work for two weeks bothers me tremendously because it could have been prevented. We will learn from this.”

Kieran Moore, the medical officer of health for the Kingston, Ont., area, in a YouTube video about the outbreak late last week. (KFL&A Public Health/YouTube)

Masks are mandatory in the Kingston area for many indoor public locations. Moore said anyone who sees someone inside a business who isn’t wearing a mask should leave.

Calls for people who had been to the salon to get tested and concerns from others about the uptick led to long lines and waits for tests over the weekend.

More than 3,000 people have gone to get tested since last Monday, Moore said.

People in Kingston lined up for hours on Friday to be tested for COVID-19. Some said they had visited the nail salon where an outbreak occurred while others said they had been in close contact with people who later tested positive. 1:00

Kingston’s test centre has moved to the Leon’s Centre near the waterfront, home to the Kingston Frontenacs junior hockey team.

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