New Hampshire restaurant fined $1,500 for failing to enforce virus protocols

New Hampshire

Blue face masks. (Karolina Grabowska / Pexels)

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A New Hampshire restaurant has been fined $1,500 following a complaint about a lack of social distancing and mask wearing during the coronavirus pandemic, the state attorney general’s office said Tuesday.

The attorney general’s office said it assessed the penalty against Grumpy’s Bar & Grill in Plaistow after the restaurant on Nov. 14 was visited by a police officer who was following up on a photo taken the day before showing “overcrowding, standing and mingling in the bar area, no social distancing between tables, and no face coverings.”

The officer said the conditions were similar and that the only person wearing a face covering was the bartender.

The attorney general, in its letter to Grumpy’s, said it also had been notified earlier in writing that 6 feet (2 meters) is required between tables; the number of people in the bar must be restricted in order to maintain the 6-foot distance; and standing and mingling in bar areas is prohibited.

Richard LeClaire, Grumpy’s owner, said establishments in nearby Massachusetts had closed earlier under new rules and “so we ended up with a serious overflow that we weren’t ready for.” He said since then, “we’ve taken measures so that won’t happen again.”

Separately, three recent cases of the virus were associated with Grumpy’s, with possible community exposure on Nov. 10 and Nov. 14, state health officials said last week. The restaurant had said on its Facebook page that the entire establishment has since had a “deep sanitizing clean.”

Last week, the attorney general’s office had fined a bakery, bagel shop and pizza place $500 each after repeated complaints about staff not wearing masks during the coronavirus pandemic.


MEDICAL REPS’ PLEA

Several New Hampshire medical associations have put out a plea to residents to do their part to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The New Hampshire Hospital Association, the New Hampshire Medical Society and the New Hampshire Nurses Association in a statement on Monday asked the public to continue following health guidance known to slow the community transmission of the virus.

Doctors, nurses and hospitals are “tired, stressed, and worried about the health of their patients,” the statement said. It will take every New Hampshire resident to “play their part in protecting their own health, as well as protecting the health of the caregivers who are providing care to extremely vulnerable patients,” the medical groups said.

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