Cayuga County Health Council discusses COVID-19 fines as more companies are penalized | Local news

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FILE – This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus particle isolated from a patient in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, MD (NIAID / NIH via AP, File)


The Cayuga County Health Council on Tuesday approved fines for six companies that violated COVID-19 rules, but discussed sanctions and the role of the health department in enforcing the state mask mandate.

Companies that paid fines of $ 50 are Arnold’s Family Restaurant in Weedsport, Bass Pro Shops in Aurelius, Bayside Grocery in Fair Haven, Fingerlakes Variety and Sports in Aurelius, New China Royal in Auburn and Walmart in Auburn. At Walmart, a health department inspector noticed two employees and 11 customers who were not wearing their faces properly.

Because the business was criminal for the first time, consent orders were issued by the health department. The companies signed consent orders recognizing the violations and agreed to pay a $ 50 fine.

Before voting to approve the consent orders, Dr. Brian Brundage, a member of the health board, asked Eileen O’Connor, director of the environmental health division of the health department, about the existence of an expiration date. on the state mask, which is in force since April. O’Connor responded that there is no set date for when the regulation will end, but that it will probably end when the pandemic ends.

“I don’t like the thought that the health department will become an arm of law enforcement more than it already is,” Brundage said. “This has the potential, if it extends to other things, to be cops – to go out and check on the public in more and more different ways.”