Gibson County Health Department cites businesses for COVID-19 violations

Coronavirus Watch Indiana

GIBSON COUNTY, Ind. (WEHT)–The Gibson County Health Department is citing businesses not following the governor’s health guidelines. Health department leaders tell Eyewitness News putting, a possible $250 citation in place was a decision made by their health board. This comes after several phone calls pertaining to some restaurant staff members not wearing masks while cooking or serving up food. They say the complaints weren’t just aimed at one Gibson County restaurant.

Jeff Clark is the owner of Dick Clark’s Family Restaurant in Princeton. Clark says it has not experienced anything like this pandemic, but it is doing its best to follow health guidelines.

“We are keeping our tables clear. CDC guidelines. Throwing away menus. Throw away salt, pepper, ketchup,” explained Clark. “We are keeping our tables six feet apart they’ve never been any closer. We are trying to follow every guideline we can we when our customers come in, they feel safe.”

Clark has yet to open his restaurant at full capacity and says defiance may earn some less cautious business owners more than a possible fee, it could cost some restaurant owners their reputation if someone gets COVID-19.

“All you need is an outbreak or somebody says they got it from your place,” said Clark.

In Vanderburgh County, restaurant owners are being held to the same standards. Workers are expected to wear masks while serving food and cooking.

Nisbet Inn owner Becky Harl said their staff is making sure everyone masks up and dines 6-feet-apart. She is already fearing the worst for some businesses.

“I know we went to 100% capacity with social distancing so for most of us, we gain nothing,” said Harl. “I have been touched by COVID. Knowing quite a few people who have had it and some people who have passed away. I know it’s a very serious thing, but I’m not really sure that our government can keep our businesses closed down or operating how we are operating much longer.”

Both Clark and Harl hope this is resolved soon.

“Mask up every day. The sooner we get this over with. The happier we will be,” said Clark.

“Citizens of our country should be able to decide where they want to go and what they want to do,” Harl said.

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(This story was originally published on October 28, 2020)

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