Chances Casino in Salmon Arm has closed along with other Shuswap entertainment spots. (Jim Elliot - Salmon Arm Observer)

Chances, most pubs close due to COVID-19 concerns in the Shuswap

Management group says closure is in response to mandatory reduction of group gatherings

The Salmon Arm Chances gaming centre has closed along with other Shuswap entertainment facilities where large groups of people gather, due to concerns they could facilitate the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

A statement from the Berezan Hospitality Group, which manages Salmon Arm’s Chances, says the closure is in accordance with the mandatory reduction of group gatherings recommended by the B.C. government.

The closure went into effect at 11 p.m. on March 16.

“We are prioritizing the health of our players, employees and communities,” said Troy Bilodeau, director of operations of Berezan Hospitality Group.

“There have been no reported cases of COVID-19 at any of B.C.’s gaming facilities, but we are happy to be participating in these preventative measures.”

Read More: Salmon Arm to close all city-owned facilities in response to COVID-19

Read More: Okanagan College cancels face-to-face classes while transitioning to online education

Some of the Shuswap’s pubs have closed their doors while others are taking steps including capping their seating capacity and offering take-out instead of sit-in meals.

Salmon Arm’s Setters Pub is closed, although its liquor store is open and offering deliveries. The Crown n’ Anchor Public House announced on its Facebook page that it would also be shutting its doors; the post states the closure is for the good of the community and the pub’s staff. It goes on to thank all workers who are still ensuring that people can get medical attention, childcare and other essential services.

According to a post on the Barley Station Brew Pub’s Facebook page, it will be open for take-out only.

Moose Mulligan’s in Sicamous posted to its Facebook page, stating it would still be open but seating will be limited to 50 people or less. The post states the restaurant space is set up in such a way that guests can be seated at least two tables apart.

In an earlier post, Moose Mulligan’s stated it would be taking steps such as sanitizing menus, salt and pepper shakers and other items after each use and asking guests to wash their hands upon entering the building and leaving. The post also states that Moose Mulligan’s could close at any time but for now it is trying to keep its 40 employees working.

Read More: ‘Lots of unknowns’: Okanagan restaurant workers stressed as COVID-19 causes layoffs

Read More: COVID-19: Okanagan prison closed to visitors, no confirmed cases of virus

Another Sicamous establishment, Joe Schmucks Roadhouse, will be shutting down indefinitely. General manager George Horton said the closure is for the good of employees and the rest of the community as potential patrons could be carriers of the virus.

“You just don’t know who’s sick and who’s not at this point,” he said.

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