Oregon OSHA to Decide if Bars & Restaurants Warrant Violations

OLCC Pursuing Three Cases for Violations of Agency Rules

Portland, OR — The OLCC is forwarding reports to the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OR OSHA) that nine bars and restaurants may have violated social distancing and face covering requirements. The OLCC is continuing investigations of three non-related cases where bars and restaurants may have violated OLCC rules.

During the Fourth of July holiday weekend, OLCC inspectors found most Oregon bars and restaurants they visited were complying with OLCC rules, following social distancing guidelines, and that employees and patrons were wearing face coverings. The compliance checks were part of a statewide effort to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

OLCC inspectors checked on 800 businesses across Oregon during the three-day period. Inspectors issued 74 verbal instructions to bars and restaurants to comply with social distancing and face covering requirements, or about nine percent of the licensees visited.

Preliminary reports indicated that there were social distancing and face covering problems throughout Lincoln County but upon further investigation those incidents were determined to be localized to businesses outside Newport city limits.

Based on a review of investigators’ accounts, OLCC compliance staff is forwarding nine incident reports to OR OSHA; that’s one percent of the licensed establishments OLCC inspectors checked. It will be up OR OSHA to determine if there were any violations and what action to take.

The OLCC is continuing its investigations of three licensees alleged to be out-of-compliance with agency rules and will release that information if the licensees are ultimately charged. This coming weekend (July 10th – 12th) OLCC will again send additional inspectors out to make compliance checks.

Most Oregon Bars & Restaurants Following Social Distancing Requirements

OLCC Inspectors Saturate State Over 4th of July Holiday Weekend

Some Licensees Face Charges for Violating OLCC Rules

OLCC Will Forward Other Cases to OSHA for Action

July 7th, Portland, OR — The Oregon Liquor Control Commission found most of Oregon’s bars and restaurants were operating according to OLCC rules, following social distancing guidelines, and making sure staff and customers were wearing face coverings during the 4th of July holiday weekend. However, inspectors encountered several problem locations along the central Oregon coast, some spots in southern Oregon, and the city of Bend.

OLCC inspectors visited 800 businesses across Oregon during the three-day period. Compliance staff observed or conducted compliance checks of licensees to make sure they were following the Governor’s social distancing requirements in the face of a statewide increase of COVID-19 cases.

The OLCC had compliance staff from its five regional offices in the field including: 18 inspectors on Friday, July 3rd; 16 on Saturday, July 4th; and 13 on Sunday, July 5th. On most weekends, an average of eight OLCC inspectors statewide are making compliance checks at bars and restaurants.

Inspectors found significant compliance with social distancing and face covering requirements at the bars and restaurants inspected in the Portland Metro area, the Salem region, Coos County, the North Oregon Coast and most of Eastern Oregon.  In some instances, inspectors provided licensees with on-the-site verbal instructions to improve compliance with the social distancing guidelines.

In other areas of the state, OLCC inspectors reported some licensees or their customers were showing clear disregard for social distancing requirements. Inspectors found social distancing violations at some bars and restaurants in Bend’s downtown district, portions of Josephine County and the Newport area. In those locations, inspectors also found licensees violating state statutes or OLCC rules, and the OLCC will be issuing administrative violations to those businesses.

The OLCC is continuing its investigations of licensees found to be out-of-compliance and will take administrative action against licensees alleged to have violated state law or OLCC rules. After investigators complete their reports about observed violations regarding social distancing requirements, the cases will be forwarded to Oregon OSHA for action.