City of Fresno hands out citations to businesses for violating safety orders during pandemic

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The City of Fresno has handed out six citations to businesses that violated safety orders during the pandemic.

Two Walmarts, a Winco, Clawson Motorsports, the Bobby Salazar's in the Tower District and Dog House Grill were all fined over the last three months for not enforcing social distancing or the mask rules inside their stores.

"We are now complying with every law, every recommendation by the city, by the state," says Matt Billingsley, Dog House Grill General Manager. "We're practicing a lot more social distancing."

Dog House Grill was hit with a $500 citation for violating social distancing rules -- that fine was later cut in half.

Billingsley understands why his business was cited but says it was an honest mistake while his staff adjusted to the new safety guidelines.

"We would never want to our employees or our customers or anybody in danger of the virus, or anything of that manner," he said.

Management says Dog House Grill has been busy since its doors reopened, serving up to 2,000 pounds of tri-tip every day as they work to comply with the ordinance.

New signage and markers have been added to remind people to maintain social distance, while dine-in capacity has been limited to about 50 percent.

The city has even given the popular restaurant a seal of approval in the weeks following the fine.

"We've limited it to six people at the bar and we have adjusted all of our tables for dine-in with the correct distancing that's been recommended and required," Billingsley said.

Code Enforcement officers say they have received more than 500 complaints about a lack of social distancing procedures at stores and restaurants.

But as the economy reopens local health officials continue to work with business owners on ways to keep customers safe

"We're certainly hoping everyone works together during this very critical time to do the right thing and to really promote safety and to really watch out for each other because otherwise, we're going to have a real challenge in containing this outbreak," says Dr. Rais Vohra with the Fresno County Public Health Department.
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