OLCC: Downtown Bend a ‘problem location’ in following social distancing rules

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission called out downtown Bend as a “problem location” where people weren’t fully complying with state social distancing and mask guidelines during spot checks over the holiday weekend.

OLCC inspectors visited 75 restaurants and bars in Central and Eastern Oregon and delivered a dozen verbal warnings, according to a report released this week.

The report found most of the state’s bars and restaurants following the rules, but said inspectors “encountered several problem locations along the central Oregon coast, some spots in southern Oregon and the city of Bend.”

The report said some businesses and customers in those areas showed a “clear disregard for social distancing requirements.”

“Inspectors found social distancing violations at some bars and restaurants in Bend’s downtown district, portions of Josephine County and the Newport area,” according to the report. “In those locations, inspectors also found licensees violating state statutes or OLCC rules, and the OLCC will be issuing administrative violations to those businesses.”

OLCC inspectors visited 800 businesses across Oregon during the three-day period.

Inspectors found significant compliance with social distancing and face-covering requirements at the bars and restaurants inspected in the Portland Metro area, the Salem region, Coos County, the North Oregon Coast and most of Eastern Oregon.

The OLCC is continuing its investigations of licensees found to be out-of-compliance and will take administrative action against those alleged to have violated state law or OLCC rules.

After investigators complete their reports about observed violations regarding social distancing requirements, the cases will be forwarded to Oregon OSHA for action.

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