BY ANYSSA BOHANAN
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
Some local businesses say they’re struggling to keep up with health regulations and customers in the era of COVID-19.
Duda’s Billiard’s Bar is one of five Central Oregon businesses the OLCC says violated face coverings and social distancing guidelines over the Fourth of July weekend.
“That weekend got away from us because we were out of town, and we put signs in the window and people don’t want to wear masks; they do not want to wear masks,” owner Jeff Duda said.
Duda doesn’t dispute the OLCC findings and takes full responsibility. He added that they’ve been actively working to fix the issues.
“When we got back and realized it wasn’t going as smoothly as it needed to, we put up ‘Masks Required’,” said Duda. “We had signs on the door, we’ve been marking the floor, we’ve been sanitizing like crazy.”
They’ve also added extra staff to monitor customers inside the bar to ensure everyone continues wearing masks after they’ve walked through the door.
Though face coverings are a requirement similar to showing an ID to get into the bar, Duda says some customers’ resistance to wearing masks is impacting business.
“50 percent of the people think it’s fine and, the other 50 percent, like in any situation in the world, half the people just don’t think they should have to wear one, and they want to take it out on whichever person is telling them ‘You do have to’,” said Duda. “That’s the most difficult thing is having reduced revenue while also potentially running customers away that we do have.”
Gov. Kate Brown announced Monday that bars and restaurants not complying with COVID restrictions could face citations, fines, and even closure.