Nearly 700 Louisiana businesses received violations of COVID-19 state guidelines
Officials say most violations were addressed, fixed immediately
MONROE, La. (KNOE) - The Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office says more than 8100 businesses have been inspected to ensure COVID-19 restrictions are being followed. Nearly 700 Louisiana businesses were found violating at least one of those restrictions.
In Ouachita Parish, 40 businesses have had at least one COVID-19 violation. The most common violation: employees wearing PPE incorrectly. Officials say most of them have been addressed and resolved immediately.
“Early on in this stage, there was a lot of uncertainty and a lot of not knowing on a lot of restaurants part,” says Joey Trappey, owner of Fieldhouse and Trapp’s.
He says inspectors visited both to ensure they were in compliance. “They asked us to remove a few more outdoor tables and spread things out a little bit more. Not that we weren’t in compliance,” Trappey says. “I guess that’s kind of what they dinged us for, but all of our servers and all of our staff wear masks. We have tables shut down, turned over and flipped over where you can’t sit at them.”
He says he was shocked to see one of his restaurants on the list of 698 businesses with at least one COVID-19 violation.
State fire marshal Butch Browning says that number is less than 10 percent of all the businesses in the state, which he says is “phenomenal. I am grateful and happy with the overwhelming compliance that’s occurring across the state,” Browning says. “We’re trying to create a new habit. We’re trying to create a new level of personal responsibility.”
However, 14 businesses across the state have had repeated violations in multiple inspections.
“Every restaurant out there wants to do it right, but you can’t control patrons as well as you can control your employees,” Trappey says. “If you don’t want to wear your mask and you’re one of my employees, you can go home. A patron doesn’t understand that.”
Trappey says he, like most owners, is still navigating the new guidelines and continuing to serve his customers. “We look forward, and we’re excited on moving forward and keeping things going in a positive direction.”
The Alcohol Tobacco Control has suspended bar permits for four south Louisiana businesses for continued violations of the governor’s order.
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