Shelby County Health Department will crack down on restaurants violating the health directive

Watch: Shelby County Health Department will crack down on restaurants violating the health directive

SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — Officials with the Shelby County Health Department say they received complaints about non-compliant business over the weekend.

Staff said it was a handful of businesses that weren’t following the health directive.

Director Alisa Haushalter said some of them were restaurants that were allowed reopen recently, but others were repeat-offenders with previous complaints.

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She said staying open late and overcrowding are some of the complaints from the weekend.

Haushalter said more people are speaking up and reporting violations at restaurants when they see them, which is a good thing.

But she said if even just a handful of businesses aren’t following the rules, it can have a major impact on the community’s progress.

“If you have one place that is overcrowded and one person has COVID then a lot of people end up with COVID and so a handful is too many,” she said.

Haushalter said the department will focus on addressing those individual businesses that aren’t following the directive instead of passing broad changes that would affect dozens of businesses at once.

She said they usually start with warning businesses and giving them additional education but they have the power to fine businesses and even close them down.

“Particularly if we know a business is knowingly and purposefully not adhering to the health directive,” said Haushalter. “They’re putting their employees at risk. They’re putting their customers at risk. They’re putting the community at risk as well.”

Five businesses were temporarily closed for violating one of the health directives earlier this month.

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