The boss of a popular Aberdeen pub that has been linked to a cluster of coronavirus cases today told of his sadness – and urged customers to support them.
Thirteen cases of Covid-19 cases have been associated with Hawthorn Bar on Holburn Street, sparking an NHS Grampian investigation.
The health board said all those who have tested positive to date are exhibiting mild symptoms.
Customers who visited the venue on Sunday, July 26, who have since tested positive for Covid-19.
NHS Grampian is working closely with environmental health staff at Aberdeen City Council as part of their investigation into the incident.
The Hawthorn Bar – after a deep clean and “defogging” – has been allowed to reopen and there has been no indication of any deficiency in its practices to date.
Owner Philip Adams said he was “deeply saddened” by the news and that yesterday’s trading had been incredibly quiet.
He stressed that all possible precautions had been taken since reopening and urged customers to continue to support the business.
The family-run pub, also known as The Adams & The Hawthorn, has operated since 1974.
He said: “We urge customers to continue their support for us. We have had extensive protection in place since July 15, including reduced capacity, protective screens and PPE for staff.
“We are now at the centre of negativity surrounding Covid-19, which is unfair as we aren’t the only city pub open throughout this pandemic.”
Mr Adams stressed that safety remains “paramount” and asked people to respect his staff and customers.
We are investigating thirteen detected cases of COVID-19 in Aberdeen associated with The Hawthorn Bar, a licensed…
Dr Emmanuel Okpo, consultant in public health medicine, said NHS Grampian cannot rule out the possibility of there being more cases linked to the cluster.
He said: “Our Health Protection team are speaking to the confirmed cases, establishing who they have been in contact with, and providing further advice on isolation and testing as required.
“We are also carrying out wider contact tracing work, as part of the Test & Protect scheme. We cannot rule out the possibility of detecting further cases linked to this cluster.
“These cases highlight that Covid-19 still poses a real risk to all of us. We cannot emphasise enough the need for everyone to take all the necessary precautions to keep themselves and others safe.
“This means wearing a face covering when required, practising thorough hand hygiene, maintaining physical distancing, and avoiding crowded places. This last point is vitally important as restaurants and pubs are opening up. If you arrive at a venue and you feel it’s too busy to observe physical distancing, then consider leaving.
“We also need to take responsibility for our own behaviour, especially if consuming alcohol. We know drinking impacts on our decision making. The only way we can maintain our hard won progress in reducing the impact of Covid-19 is by working together.”
In a statement on Facebook, The Adams & The Hawthorn said: “We assure all customers to be extra vigilant and adhere to our policies at all times.
“Our thoughts are with those affected and we wish them a speedy recovery. Please consider this is a very difficult time for us and we hope our customers continue to support us throughout.
“We have faith in the track and trace system and thank all customers for conforming.”
MP for Aberdeen South Stephen Flynn said: “This news is extremely concerning and highlights the very real fact that the virus has not gone away and that we must all continue to adhere to Government guidance.
“There have been numerous photos circulating on social media of people not adhering to social distancing whilst waiting to enter premises and this news should act as a wake-up call to those involved.”
Councillor Ian Yuill, leader of the Liberal Democrats in Aberdeen, said: “The daily number of infections and deaths in Scotland may have fallen dramatically but this incident shows that coronavirus remains a very real threat to each and every one of us. We cannot afford to drop our guard. It is vital that every single one of us sticks to the rules and guidelines to stay safe, protect others and save lives.
“We all owe a debt of thanks to the NHS Grampian and Aberdeen City Council staff who responded so quickly and professionally to this incident.
“My best wishes to everyone infected for a speedy recovery.”