December 28, 2020
Health department takes regulatory action against restaurants in Pine River and Oslo
Long Pine Store and Jamieson’s on Main received cease-and-desist orders after violating executive orders designed to protect Minnesotans from COVID-19
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) today announced it has issued cease-and-desist orders and notices of license suspension to Long Pine Store in Pine River, Minn. and Jamieson’s on Main in Oslo, Minn., after determining that the facilities had violated executive orders designed to protect their employees, customers, and communities from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Governor Tim Walz issued Executive Order 20-99 on Nov. 18. The executive order prohibits bars and restaurants from offering on-premises dining. The executive order was issued at a time of rapid acceleration in the spread of COVID-19 across Minnesota and sought to protect Minnesotans while also preventing hospitals and health care systems from becoming overwhelmed by the surge in cases. As of Dec. 18, at 11:59 p.m., restaurants and bars could resume outdoor dining at 50% capacity, with a maximum of 100 people, with some additional restrictions. While up to five customers at a time may step inside briefly to pick up takeout, indoor dining remains closed to the public.
On Dec. 18, MDH inspected Long Pine Store in Pine River. During the inspection, MDH staff found the establishment was open for on-premises consumption of beverages in violation of Executive Order 20-99. A cease-and-desist order and license suspension notice were served on Dec. 24.
On Dec. 21, MDH inspected Jamieson’s on Main in Oslo. During the inspection, MDH staff found the establishment was open for on-premises consumption of food in violation of Executive Order 20-99. A cease-and-desist order and license suspension notice were served on Dec. 26.
According to MDH Assistant Commissioner Dan Huff, enforcement actions are a last resort when it is clear that education and outreach are not sufficient to help a regulated establishment come into compliance with requirements.
“COVID-19 protocols are designed to slow the spread of this virus and reduce the impacts of this pandemic,” Huff said. “Our preference is always to work with businesses to bring them into compliance, and we consider regulatory actions as a last resort. The vast majority of businesses are doing their best to help slow down the spread of COVID-19, and we owe it to them to have a consistent and fair enforcement approach.”