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Oregon Coast Cafe Fined Nearly $ 18,000 Over COVID-19 Rules

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FLORENCE The state of Oregon has fined a restaurant in Florence nearly $ 18,000 for deliberately exposing workers to COVID-19 after an investigation in which officials said compliance officers were threatened.

The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration on Tuesday announced the fine for The New Blue Hen, The Register-Guard reported.

The New Blue Hen, doing business as Little Brown Hen Caf, had allowed indoor dining since at least December 26, according to a state investigation.

The company did so after knowing it was in violation of a public health order limiting indoor catering capacity to zero in an extreme risk county, according to the state press release.

The restaurant did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Complaints about the restaurant led to an inspection in which several people, including a woman with a gun, blocked entry to business and threatened compliance officers on Jan.4, according to the state.

The state assigned two compliance officers and both identified themselves during the inspection and asked to speak to the owner, the state said at how threatened they were.

People at the entrance followed them to their cars, yelling at them as they drove away, officials said.

The inspectors were able to give visual confirmation of the meals inside.

Michael Wood, administrator of Oregon OSHA, imposed the penalty of $ 17,800, double the minimum penalty for a willful violation to reflect the need to provide a more appropriate deterrent when employers insist not take into account public health measures.

The restaurant has 30 days to appeal.

–The Associated Press

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