Another Florence restaurant fined over COVID-19 restrictions

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FLORENCE, Ore. (AP) — State officials have fined another Florence restaurant for several violations of guidelines meant to protect employees from COVID-19.

The Register-Guard reports 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 restaurant is closed Wednesdays and didn’t immediately respond to a request from the newspaper for comment.

OSHA officials say they 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.”

On Tuesday, OSHA announced a similar fine for The New Blue Hen in Florence.

Officials say complaints led to an inspection which was carried out despite several people – including one carrying a firearm – who blocked the business’ entrance and threatened compliance officers.

The investigation found the restaurant had been allowing indoor dining since at least Dec. 26.

The restaurant didn’t immediately respond to The Register-Guard’s message seeking comment.

The restaurant has 30 days to appeal.

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