FLORENCE, Ore. (AP) — State officials have fined another Florence restaurant for several violations of guidelines meant to protect employees from COVID-19.
Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced Wednesday it had fined Firehouse Restaurant & Lounge over $18,000 for allowing indoor dining, failing to have an infection control plan and not conducting a risk assessment, The Register-Guard reported.
Firehouse is the second Florence restaurant the state has fined this month for re-opening for indoor dining. Oregon OSHA said Tuesday it fined Little Brown Hen in Florence $17,800.
The restaurant is closed Wednesdays and did not immediately respond to a request from the newspaper for comment.
Several complaints sparked an inspection of the restaurant, and OSHA decided to conduct the inspection by phone after “an investigation of social media posts and websites discovered the potential for armed people to block access to the business,” according to a news release.
“Moreover, the investigation showed that some extremist groups were encouraging people to engage in violence against Oregon OSHA compliance officers if they visited the site,” the release adds.
The investigation found Firehouse had been violating state guidelines since around Dec. 26.
Restaurant manager Kylie McKenzie told inspectors she decided to re-open “even though she was aware the decision went against measures to prevent the spread of the disease in an extreme-risk county.”
Firehouse Restaurant’s owners have 30 days to appeal.