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Four Bars Receive Compliance Orders and Fines for COVID-19 Violations

After inspections by Rhode Island's COVID-19 Enforcement Task Force four bars have been fined and temporarily closed because of violations of Rhode Island's COVID-19 health regulations. The fines ranged from $1,050 to $2,450.

The COVID-19 Enforcement Task Force is a collaboration between the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) and Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation (DBR). Inspectors with the Task Force noted various violations at these businesses, including bars being accessible after 11 p.m., mingling customers being served at bars, failure to maintain separation at bars, and employees not wearing masks. Although restaurants can operate bars, they must close by 11 p.m., and patrons must be seated at bars with barriers between seated parties. Nightclubs cannot operate in Rhode Island at this time.

The four establishments that received orders and fines are:

- Levels Lounge, 1137 Broad Street, Providence

- LoVera V.I.P, 1266 Broad Street, Providence

- Vibe Lounge and Hookah Bar, 25 Broad Street, Pawtucket

- MamaJuana Restaurant, 905 Main Street, Pawtucket

These four establishments are currently closed.

Thorough environmental cleaning will be required of all establishments, in addition to the ongoing requirements for all businesses offering dining on premises. These include requirements to keep contact information for guests, screen employees and guests for symptoms of COVID-19, ensure mask wearing, and ensure social distancing.

These compliance orders and all other COVID-19 related compliance orders are posted online on the website of DBR at dbr.ri.gov.

To file a complaint about a business, call 401-889-5550 or visit taskforce.dbr.ri.gov.

Key public health guidance:

- Anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 should stay at home until they get tested and receive all their test results. You should also let the people in your life know that you have symptoms and are being tested, and encourage them to stay at home as well (and monitor for symptoms).

- If a person has symptoms of COVID-19 especially a new cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, or recent loss of taste or smell everyone in the household should stay home until that person has been tested (and has a negative result).

- Practice the three Ws:

Wear your mask whenever you are around people you don't live with.

Wash your hands with soap and water throughout the day (or use hand sanitizer).

Watch your distance. Try to stay at least six feet away from others whenever possible.

- Keep your groups consistent and small. The social gathering maximum in Rhode Island is 15 people. The smaller the group the better.

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