Nine restaurants and bars may have violated Oregon's social distancing rules and could face penalties.
The Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) is the designated state agency monitoring Oregon's restaurants and bars for social distancing requirement violations. The compliance checks are part of a statewide effort to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
OLCC administrators said they are forwarding reports to the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OR OSHA) that nine bars and restaurants may have violated social distancing and face covering requirements.
The specific names and locations of the businesses in the alleged violations, and what penalties they might face, had not be made immediately available by the OLCC with a release of the investigations issued Friday, July 10.
The OLCC is continuing investigations of three non-related cases where bars and restaurants may have violated OLCC rules.
During the Fourth of July holiday weekend, OLCC inspectors found most Oregon bars and restaurants they visited were complying with OLCC rules, following social distancing guidelines, and that employees and patrons were wearing face coverings.
OLCC inspectors checked on 800 businesses across Oregon during the three-day period. Inspectors issued 74 verbal instructions to bars and restaurants to comply with social distancing and face covering requirements, or about nine percent of the licensees visited.
Preliminary reports indicated that there were social distancing and face covering problems throughout Lincoln County but upon further investigation those incidents were determined to be localized to businesses outside Newport city limits.
Based on a review of investigators’ accounts, OLCC compliance staff is forwarding nine incident reports to OR OSHA; that’s one percent of the licensed establishments OLCC inspectors checked. It will be up OR OSHA to determine if there were any violations and what action to take.
The OLCC is continuing its investigations of three licensees alleged to be out-of-compliance with agency rules and will release that information if the licensees are ultimately charged. This weekend, July 10-12, OLCC will again send additional inspectors out to make compliance checks.