Health department helping businesses stay in compliance with COVID-19 guidelines

Published: Oct. 23, 2020 at 5:10 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) -

Some Cass County bars and restaurants are having a hard time following state guidelines. The guidelines call for businesses to dramatically limit the number of people inside at any given time and for people to wear masks unless they are eating or drinking.

The health department is stepping in, telling them how they can stay in compliance.

“The last thing that we want to do is have another shutdown, and that’s the last thing they want to do,” said Chris Ohman, an Environmental Health Practitioner with Fargo Cass Public Health.

At one point, he and eight others were checking on businesses. He said they’re finding that the most concerns are with area bars.

“We’ll get concerns presented to us whether it’s a restaurant, a bar, a different retail setting, whether we license them or not we’re there to provide the education,” said Ohman.

Ohman said if the business isn’t following the ND Smart Restart guidelines, they try to educate them on why it’s important to limit capacity, social distance, and cover-up to stop the virus from spreading.

“We generally find that if a concern is brought up to us, we don’t hear about it after we provide that education and go on-site to do walkthroughs,” said Ohman.

Keep in mind; there are businesses that are doing what’s expected.

“We went into Sandy’s donuts downtown,” said Kaitlin Bowers from Fargo. “They really make you feel safe, all of their staff wears their masks. They reinforce like how many people are in there at a time.”

Corie Anderson and Anthony Sheppard are visiting from St. Paul, Minnesota.

They’ve had to cover up for a while now, and added they’re impressed with Cass County.

“Yeah, we were just over here on the corner, and they followed everything pretty much to a tee pretty much for the mask mandate, table separated out, everybody had masks on,” said Anderson.

The health department wasn’t able to give us specific names of bars and restaurants having a hard time following state guidelines in Cass County.

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