Vigo, Parke Co. Health Departments enforce restaurant restrictions

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FARMERSBURG, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– Saratoga and other local restaurants were challenged with reassessing how they conduct business after Gov. Eric Holcomb placed a ban on dine-in services.

George Azar, owner of Saratoga, said the business is doing their best to enforce social distancing and practice good hygiene.

“We still sanitize our kitchens and whatever we need to. Our people wear gloves and we do what we can,” he said. “Most of the times, its people come in one at a time so we feel like we’re doing our part as far as social distancing is concerned.”

Under the governor’s order, local health departments were given the authority to enforce the the ban.

According to Liddy Wright, Sanitarian and Emergency Preparedness Coordinator for Parke Co. Health Department, they haven’t received any complaints about business that aren’t following the guidelines.

However, they do plan to strictly enforce the restrictions, if businesses are found to be out of compliance.

“I’d probably be the first point of contact. I’d reach out or stop in. And if it was necessary, I could involve local law enforcement,” she said.

The executive order also allows local health boards to revoke food permits and issue citations to those that are non-compliant.

Roni Elder, Vigo Co. Health Educator, said the department understands that local businesses may be in an unprecedented time; however, they must follow the state mandate.

“We really don’t want to fine people because it’s already a hardship on their business,” she noted. “So, we’re hopeful that everybody just stays within the governor’s orders and follows this so we can all get this over with.”

If a business is found not complying with state guidelines, local health officials also have the authority to close the business.

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