Inspectors Find Too Many Bars Not Complying With COVID-19 Restrictions

  As part of an effort by Governor Kate Brown to increase public health enforcement during COVID-19, 800 bars and restaurants across Oregon were visited by The Oregon Liquor and Control Commission (OLCC) over Fourth of July weekend. Quite a few failed their inspections due to not wearing or enforcing the wearing of face coverings and not socially distancing, including businesses in and around Benton and Linn counties.   

The OLCC reported that most businesses inspected complied with guidelines, but about 74 businesses, or about 10% of those inspected, were found to be in violation of the guidelines.   

Our county, along with central Oregon, were particularly concerning: Benton, Douglas, Lane, Linn, and Lincoln counties, was found to be a point of concern, with verbal instructions being issued by OLCC to 15 out of 38 businesses, about 40 percent, inspected in the area.   

Businesses in Medford and Bend were also issued high numbers of verbal instructions for not following guidelines, with 20 percent of businesses failing inspections in Medford, and 16 percent failing in Bend.   

In total, 1 in every 20 businesses in Portland and Salem areas were given verbal instruction, compared to 1 in every 4 in other parts of the state.   

OLCC plans to be back out inspecting more businesses during upcoming weekends, including Labor Day weekend, to assure social distancing and face covering compliance.   

As for now, OLCC is investigating out-of-compliance licensees, which will then be sent to Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration for further action.  

By Cara Nixon