Another winery in South Okanagan closes due to COVID-19

Joie Winery temporarily closes to prevent the spread of COVID-19

The list of businesses closing their doors, in the Okanagan, is growing following the recent COVID-19 outbreaks in the region.

Naramata’s Joie Winery announced on Monday, July 20, it is temporarily closing its tasting room doors due to the recent local increase in case numbers.

“We feel that this is the respectful thing to do for our community and the safety and health of our staff and our visitors to the area,” read a release.

On July 16, Poplar Grove also shut down for several days after an employee in the restaurant had tested positive for COVID-19. Although this individual was not showing any symptoms and wore a mask and gloves while at work, Poplar Grove immediately shut down the tasting room and the restaurant.

Now, Poplar Grove has reopened after being closed for three days to conduct a thorough cleaning and sanitation of the tasting room and restaurant.

Anyone who visited the Restaurant at Poplar Grove on July 11 and/or July 12 from 5 p.m. until close and is concerned can receive further direction from the BC Center for Disease Control Website.

As of Monday, July 20, Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced “over 60” cases had been identified related to events and parties in the Kelowna area — an increase from the 35 reported on Friday.

Over the past three days, the Interior Health Authority reported 45 new cases, bringing the region’s total since the beginning of the pandemic to 280.

“Most concerning is that in the past week and a half we have seen a growth in our cases, especially among young people,” Henry said.

Several businesses in the Okanagan have decided to close after the outbreak at the start of July. Businesses that closed in Kelowna include, the Train Station Pub, World Gym, Tower Ranch Golf Club’s Carrington Restaurant, and Rustic Reel Brewing Co.

Quails Gate Winery in West Kelowna has also announced that Interior Health has advised staff that someone who tested positive for COVID-19 visited the wine shop at the winery on July 7. Although, the winery is not being told to close and will remain in operation.

Two positive COVID-19 cases associated with the Krazy Cherry Fruit Co. in Oliver closed the business’ storefront, but the farm is allowed to continue to operate, pick, pack and sell cherries.

These two cases were linked to private parties at two hotels in Kelowna around Canada Day involving people in their 20s and 30s.

Despite the growing numbers, Henry said she doesn’t consider the Kelowna outbreak a “superspreader event.” Rather, she said, the growth is related to several smaller events that “intermingled” with each other and the public.

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