Before reopening after a two-month COVID-caused shutdown in May, Doc Willoughby’s underwent several renovations. In early December, the pub was forced to close again after a positive COVID-19 test in its staff. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)

Before reopening after a two-month COVID-caused shutdown in May, Doc Willoughby’s underwent several renovations. In early December, the pub was forced to close again after a positive COVID-19 test in its staff. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)

Popular Kelowna pub reopens after COVID-19 closure

Doc Willoughby’s Downtown Pub is reopening Friday, Dec. 18 after a two-week closure

A popular downtown Kelowna establishment is reopening on Friday (Dec. 18) after a two-week closure caused by a COVID-19 exposure. a

Doc Willoughby’s Public House owner Dave Willoughby announced on social media on Dec. 6 that he decided to close up shop after one of his staff members tested positive for COVID-19.

“It’s been a bit of a journey but for sure, we’re excited to be reopening in time for the Christmas holidays,” Willoughby said.

“It was a hard decision for us to close but we wanted to make sure everybody was healthy and on the same page moving forward.”

Though public notification of COVID-19-related staff illness is not mandated by the province, Willoughby said he wanted to be honest and transparent with the community.

“You never ever want to close and Doc’s prides itself in never closing but this year has just been rough.”

“We closed in March and opened as soon as we could in May. We were hoping we would get through this thing without having any staff get COVID but it eventually happened,” he said.

Willoughby said the staff member who tested positive is doing well and has fortunately not infected other staff or customers.

Besides a robust COVID-19 safety plan and enhanced cleaning throughout the pub, Willoughby added they bought an “Ozonator” which he said helps clear and purify the air in the facility overnight.

He said they’re excited to reopen in time to help spread some holiday cheer in Kelowna. Willoughby also wants to thank the community for the outpouring of support when they first announced the closure.

READ: Community rallies around Kelowna senior living in truck


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
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