Duncan Christian School will be closed from Jan. 25 to Feb. 1 due to COVID-19 precautionary measures. (Citizen file)

Duncan Christian School will be closed from Jan. 25 to Feb. 1 due to COVID-19 precautionary measures. (Citizen file)

Duncan Christian School, DogHouse Restaurant close doors due to COVID; cases confirmed at Walmart

Voluntary temporary closures announced as precautions

Duncan Christian School and the DogHouse Restaurant have shut their doors temporarily due to detected cases of COVID-19, and two cases have also been confirmed at the Duncan Walmart.

Both the school and the restaurant made the decisions on their own. DCS will remain closed from Monday, Jan. 18 through Monday, Feb. 1, while the DogHouse closed on Friday, Jan. 15 and said it will not reopen any earlier than Monday, Jan. 25.

Two employees at the Duncan Walmart tested positive recently, Felicia Fefer, manager of corporate affairs for Walmart Canada, confirmed in an email to the Citizen on Monday, Jan. 18. They last worked in the store on Monday, Jan. 11.

“We’re keeping the associates in our thoughts and wish them a speedy recovery,” Fefer said. “We are in contact with local public health.”

In the case of Duncan Christian School, too many staff members are affected by precautionary isolation measures for the school to function properly. The school will transition to at-home learning during the two-week closure.

“We will continue to work closely with Island Health, whose team has gone above and beyond for us,” principal Peter Terpstra said in a statement emailed to the media. “We are thankful for their support as they work tirelessly to keep the Island and our community safe.”

Terpstra said the school will return to its COVID safety plan when classes resume.

“It is our hope and prayer that those who are affected by this will recover quickly,” the principal said.

Duncan Christian is one of four schools in the Cowichan Valley that have announced COVID-19 exposures, along with Cowichan Secondary, Quamichan School, and Chemainus Secondary. None of those schools have closed as a result.

READ MORE: COVID-19 reported at three Cowichan Valley schools, Cowichan Tribes buses

The DogHouse Restaurant, a fixture in Duncan since 1954, posted a message to its Facebook page last Friday confirming it would be closed for at least 10 days.

“We have learned that one of our employees has tested positive for the coronavirus,” the post read. “Though [the Ministry of Health] has stated that it is a low-risk case and has informed us that we may continue to operate, we feel that it is best that we close our doors until no earlier than January 25/2021.

“We believe that from the beginning of COVID, we have been an industry leader in the Valley in terms of money spent on infrastructure, as well as rigid policy and procedure to ensure our guests’ health and safety.

“Closing voluntarily has been a difficult decision. We feel that to continue being an industry leader in the Valley, it is a sacrifice we must make to remain transparent with the community and our staff to ensure their health and safety.”

READ MORE: Cowichan Tribes to receive COVID-19 vaccine

READ MORE: ‘Stay the course’ with COVID measures, Island Health reminds

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