Health Duncan business ignoring COVID rules endangers dental patients, clinic says
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Workers at a Vancouver Island denture clinic say they are worried about a neighbouring business flouting COVID rules.
Mac Miller works at the Beautiful Smiles Denture Clinic in Duncan, which is above the Fallen for Nails Hair and Beauty Salon.
Miller says the salon's owner Taneal Maloney is refusing to ask clients or staff to wear masks or follow COVID safety protocols.
"As a business, we're frightened. I mean most of our patients are elderly."
The biggest problem is the office building's communal space, according to MIller. She says she worries the salon's unmasked patrons heading to the bathroom will run into her business's clients and could lead to an unintentional COVID exposure.
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"[Maloney] is a grown woman. Her employees are grownups. Wear a mask!"
Maloney declined to be interviewed.
Authorities taking action
Duncan Mayor Michelle Staples says the town is aware of the issue and taking action.
"The City of Duncan did revoke their business licence and has been fining them for operating without a licence," said Staples.
In addition, the mayor said WorksafeBC sent a penalty package, Island health issued a 30 day shutdown and the RCMP has visited the business.
But the penalties seem to be having little impact, according to Miller, who continues to see salon staff sneak customers through the building's common space.
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Patients waiting outside for their dental appointments were surprised to hear a business in the building was not following COVID rules.
"I think that is very unsafe," said Katherine Aleck of Ladysmith. "We should all have our mask on to help keep everyone safe."
It's unclear what further steps can be taken. For Miller and the staff at Beautiful Smiles their message for the salon's owner is simple.
"We don't want to see her shut down or lose her business, just wear a mask like the rest of us."
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"We're seeing that even people without symptoms of transmitting it, and that to me is something that was the game-changer."The United States just has more coronavirus cases in a day since the pandemic began—with 126,742 new cases—leading experts to warn we're in for a dark and deadly winter. It was the fourth day in a week in which new cases topped 100K. One expert who warned this would happen—Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert—warned of long-lasting COVID symptoms in an interview Saturday with the American Medical Association (AMA).