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Erie County health inspectors focus on restaurants, bars for COVID

Nine local restaurants or bars, some well known, were cited between July 2 and July 5 for face mask usage.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Erie County is looking more at businesses like restaurants and bars to make sure they are following the rules.

On Wednesday afternoon, we got some numbers and a warning from the Erie County Executive. 

The Erie County Health Department released some numbers on what they are seeing in concerns about how local businesses and restaurants are complying with established policies to stop COVID transmission. That especially refers to the proper wearing of masks by employees. 

There have been 1,100 restaurant related complaints that have come in from the public since the start of the COVID response in mid-March. Since the beginning of this month inspections to check out those complaints have stepped up especially for restaurants.

Nine local restaurants or bars, some well known, have actually been cited.

According to the Erie County Department of Health, public health sanitarians inspected these food service businesses or facilities between July 2 and July 5, then issued the violations to them for face mask usage. They are:

  • Seneca Red Hots, Buffalo
  • Armor Inn Tap Room, Hamburg
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Buffalo
  • The Cowboy, Buffalo
  • La Divina Uno, Kenmore
  • John’s Pizza and Sub, Amherst
  • Joe’s NY Style Pizza, Buffalo
  • La Casa de Sabores 1 inc., Buffalo
  • The Anchor Bar, Buffalo 

Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein said: "These are first time violations so it's just a fine. If they have repeated violations we can up the fine. And eventually they may have to close depending on what they are doing." 

Burstein added that fines against cited businesses can range up to $500 dollars a day until they prove compliance. 

County Executive Mark Poloncarz stressed this point as well. "Our health inspectors are going out there for a reason: they are going out there to protect the general public. And we've had some people that they're talking to as part of the businesses and others who have not treated them well.

"And I'm telling you, if you assault or do something to one of our health inspectors, I will ensure that you are prosecuted, because we've had some situations where health inspectors have been treated very poorly by business owners and public officials, and I will not tolerate it." 

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