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Health inspectors issue face mask violations against nine businesses

"It’s a regulation to keep our community healthy"
Posted at 6:54 PM, Jul 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-12 11:31:29-04

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — “It’s been very, very busy for our public health sanitarians,” stated Dr. Gale Burstein, Erie County Health Commissioner.

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Dr. Gale Burstein, Erie County Health Commissioner.

The Erie County Health Department is keeping a close watch on businesses and organizations violating COVID-19 regulations.

Nine locations received a violation notice for improper face mask use. They received a fine for the violation.

The following businesses were inspected by public health sanitarians between July 2 and July 5 and issued the violations:

  • Seneca Red Hots, Buffalo
  • Armor Inn Tap Room, Hamburg
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Buffalo
  • The Cowboy, Buffalo
  • La Divina Uno, Kenmore
  • John’s Pizza and Sub, Amherst
  • Joe’s NY Style Pizza, Buffalo
  • La Casa de Sabores 1 inc., Buffalo
  • The Anchor Bar, Buffalo

Among the places that county health inspectors found in violation of the mask order was the Boys & Girls Club of Buffalo on Babcock Street.

The county health department and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz held their joint news briefing on COVID Wednesday afternoon.

The health commissioner is urging restaurants in Erie County to “adhere” to the state guidelines.

“It’s not just a regulations — it’s a regulation to keep our community healthy and your patrons healthy and your staff healthy,” Burstein said.

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Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz.

County Executive Poloncarz delivered a tough warning to business owners after hearing inspectors were being treated poorly by both businesses and public officials.

“I’m telling you - if you assault or do something to one of our health inspectors — I will ensure you are prosecuted,” Poloncarz declared. “If I get word that a health inspector is touched, if I get word that a health inspector is pushed, if I get word that a health inspector is treated very poorly — remember — especially in a restaurant and bar — you have that certificate on your wall from the Department of health and that could easily be revoked.”

Poloncarz said it will not be tolerated and the rules are in place to protect the public.

The county health commissioner says there is a rise in complaints against restaurants."159 just in July and then over the weekend from the third through the fifth - there were 75 inspections,” Burstein explained.

La Divina Tacos on Delaware Avenue in Kenmore was in violation of the face mask order. We tried to reach La Divina for comment, but was told they were "too busy" to speak with us.

The Boys & Girls Club of Buffalo issued a written statement. It explained basically two members were unloading food from a supply truck when the regular health inspector showed up. Both were wearing masks, however, they were below their nose. The statement also noted the organization makes safety its number one priority for its members and staff. And stated “The loading dock is separately located from where our children are served and our staff are trained and updated on an ongoing basis regarding CDC recommendations for COVID 19.”

“If you're not covering your mouth or your nose and you're wearing a mask — you know — what's the point,” Burstein said.

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Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein says masks must be worn properly.

The Anchor Bar on Main Street in Buffalo and The Cowboy Buffalo on Chippewa were also in violation of the face mask guideline. No one could be reached for comment.

Seneca Red Hots on Seneca Street in Buffalo was also in violation. A worker said they could not comment and no manager or owner was available to speak with us.