Plaistow Restaurant Fined Over Health Violations
A Plaistow restaurant has been accused of several violations of New Hampshire's emergency orders and was issued a fine for not adhering to health guidelines.
New Hampshire Attorney General Gordon MacDonald on Tuesday sent a letter to Grumpy's Bar & Grill in Plaistow explaining the establishment's numerous violations of Gov. Chris Sununu's emergency and executive orders relating to the guidelines set for businesses operating during the COVID-19 pandemic. Richard Leclaire, owner of the establishment, was assessed a civic penalty of $1,500.
MacDonald's letter revealed numerous alleged infractions against the state's health guidelines. He reiterated that, despite the orders referencing "guidelines," business are "required to comply with the mandatory provisions of these documents if you want to continue to operate," MacDonald wrote, citing language in the orders that obliges restaurant employees to wear masks and requires appropriate table spacing to go along with the enforcement on the part of the establishment to make sure customers are wearing face coverings when not actively dining at a table.
The letter referenced a photo obtained by health officials on November 13 that apparently showed "overcrowding, standing and mingling in the bar area, no social distancing between tables, and no face coverings," MacDonald wrote, adding that a police officer was dispatched a day later and had a similar experience.
"The Plaistow Health Officer has contacted you by email on at least four occasions," MacDonald wrote in the letter to Leclaire. "... to share these guidelines and guidance with you, and to specifically highlight the social distancing and face covering requirements. Nevertheless, when the Plaistow Police Department visited your business on November 14, the police officer observed only one person in the bar -- a bartender -- wearing a face covering. The police officer's observations were consistent with a photograph received by the Health Office on November 13."
This past weekend, Grumpy's Bar & Grill was revealed to have had potential COVID-19 exposure at the restaurant, with the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announcing they were aware of at least three COVID-19 infections at the establishment as of Sunday.
According to DHHS, November 14 was one of two days (also November 10) where potential COVID-19 community exposure was identified.