PORTLAND, Maine – A customer who patronizes Pat’s pizza in the Old Port neighborhood said he told the state health facility that they hadn’t followed the coronavirus guidelines for indoor restaurants about a month before the outbreak affected the restaurant. infecting at least 10 people.
Portland’s Anne-Marie Keane said staff members did not stop masked customers walking around the common areas of the Market Street pizzeria when she visited there with a colleague on 16 September.
Keane said she reported the Pat’s Pizza experience ̵
After receiving a “written warning” from health inspectors, Mike Lizott, co-owner of the restaurant, said he had hired five security guards on Friday and Saturday nights to “walk around and tell patrons to sit and carry mask “.
“The implementation of the code is applied every Friday and Saturday to ensure that all protocols are followed and they are very happy with us and what we do,” he said.
But he did not stop the hearth there.
Pat’s Pizza in Portland was closed indefinitely on Wednesday after an employee and nine regular restaurant professionals tested positive for coronavirus, according to Lizotte.
After a week with a record number of new virus cases reported in the state, Gov. Janet Mills said on Wednesday that Mainers should take precautions because “life is at stake here.”
But she stressed that the country’s economy is also at stake, urging businesses to follow safety protocols during this pandemic to keep Mainers healthy and businesses running.
Businesses that are found not to comply with pandemic safety guidelines usually receive a warning of “imminent health hazard”. If a business refuses to comply and “continues to operate in a way that endangers public health,” it will be shut down, according to the health inspection program.
The state revoked operating licenses at Sunday River Brewing Co. at Bethel for repeatedly violating pandemic safety guidelines in May and again in the summer. Eventually, the court ordered the brewery to introduce standard precautions, such as installing Plexiglas shields, requiring employees to wear masks when in contact with others, and placing tables and booths 6 feet apart before the business be allowed to reopen.
Keane said she and her friend sat upstairs at a table opposite the bar and were the only ones in the restaurant who wore masks when they weren’t at the table, despite CDC guidelines requiring upholstery to be worn in common areas of restaurants. .
“We ordered beers and then drunken masked patrons came to our table noisy and dull,” she said.
The bartender, who worked behind a Plexiglas screen, periodically removed his mask while working, Keane said, and did not tell the restaurant’s patrons to wear masks or maintain social distance.
Keane, who works at Maine Medical Center, said she did not blame the bartender for failing to control the dangerous behavior of customers at the restaurant.
“It’s not entirely up to her. It depends on the owners and the bosses, “Keane said, adding that workers” risk actual termination if they make a decision. ”
On Friday, Maine set a new day for record-breaking new cases amid rising virus transmission across the country – 48 were reported in Cumberland County alone.
The rise could disrupt the state’s recent plan to ease restrictions on bars, restaurants and tasting rooms on Monday.
Although officials did not report a delay in the resumption plan, CDC Maine Director Nirav Shah urged Mainers to stay safe on Friday.
“Take action now. For you and for your community, wear a mask and stay away. This is serious, “he said.