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Erie County health department to watch restaurants during Bills playoff game

Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein says no igloos are allowed, and at least two walls must be open for outdoor dining.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — In Allentown and elsewhere, the Erie County Department of Health is keeping a close eye on restaurants on a day when they're expecting people to get together to watch the games.

Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein says inspectors will be out Saturday to ensure restaurants are following the rules. 

That's because under the orange zone rules, restaurants can only have takeout or outdoor dining.

"If restaurants have an igloo or restaurants have a tent that is fully enclosed and four walls, that is not allowed," Dr. Burstein said.

Dr. Burstein says at least two walls must remain open. She says sanitarians will be out Saturday looking for businesses that are not complying.

2 On Your Side reached out to the county health department about how many teams they plan to have working on Saturday but wasn't given an exact number.

"We want people to have fun, we want people to be safe and we don't want anybody to go turn on the TV for the Bills game or go to a restaurant for a Bills game and walk out with a COVID infection," Burstein said.

Burstein says the safest way to watch the Bills' first home playoff game in 25 years is at home. The game with the Indianapolis Colts kicks off at 1 p.m.

The county health department says businesses who violate the rules could face fines or may even be forced to close. That's based on how many violations they have and if it's a repeat violation.