HAMBURG, N.Y. — Western New York is in Phase 4 of reopening, but there are still plenty of restrictions on businesses that have opened their doors.
Erie County officials say health inspectors will be making unscheduled visits to bars and restaurants to make sure they're following Covid guidelines, to try to prevent so-called Covid clusters from popping up.
The Erie County Health Department went to two restaurants based on complaints that reopening guidelines were not being followed.
Inspectors went to the Armor Inn in Hamburg where they issued a violation based on a lack of social distancing.
2 On Your Side called the Armor Inn to see about getting a response, but we have not heard back.
The county also made a visit at The Stage in Clarence. No violation was issued, but a band was not allowed to perform there on Tuesday night.
A manager at The Stage says they appreciate the health department checking in and that the only bad thing was that they were unable to have live music.
The county says health inspectors have been investigating complaints related to the coronavirus since March and have been doing routine inspections.
"If there's any restaurant or bar that has an event with a band where there are a lot of people social distancing, not wearing masks, and we find out about it, we will send a sanitarian and an inspector with law enforcement, and we will entire out the house close the restaurant issue a close order," said Gale Burstein, Erie County's Health commissioner.
If there are any bars or restaurants that are shut down, the county says the establishment will need to come up with a reopening plan on how they can keep their business safe.
The restaurant or bar will also be reported to the State Liquor Authority.
Burstein also says that the county is monitoring social media for large parties and gatherings.
People can report Covid complaints to the Erie County Department of Health at (716) 961-6800
Restaurants, bars and food services need to follow various guidelines on capacity, social distancing, personal protective equipment and hygiene.
The health department says since March, the county has received about 1,000 Covid-related complaints. Inspectors have issued 66 violations at restaurants and bars from March through June; 43 of them were corrected at the inspection. Uncorrected violations are followed up on.
Erie County's health commissioner also says that the county is monitoring social media for large parties and gatherings.