COVID violations found at hundreds of Erie County businesses; 9 closed

Erie County

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Erie County Comptroller’s Office says hundreds of businesses committed violations, and nine were ordered to close after failing to abide with COVID-19 guidelines.

In all, the Comptroller’s Office says violations were found in at least 277 businesses since the restrictions began. Some businesses received multiple violations and fines.

Of the businesses that were fined, 53 were restaurants. Their fines totaled anywhere from $100-$800.

Here are examples of the violations that were found:

  • Operating indoor services against NYS rules
  • Overcrowding and/or lack of social distancing
  • Unmasked employee(s)
  • Standing while drinking/patrons served drinks when not sitting
  • Dancing without face masks
  • No food with alcohol
  • More than 50 people in attendance at function

The establishments that were forced to close due to operating indoor services against state rules were:

  • AJ’s in Clarence (AJ’s has since reopened)
  • Eden Memorial VFW Post #8265 in Eden
  • Gabel’s Bar in Buffalo
  • Swannie House in Buffalo
  • The Original Warehouse in Blasdell

According to the Comptroller’s Office, The Cowboy, in Buffalo, was forced to close in July for overcrowding and lack of social distancing. The Cowboy reopened weeks later. Kaz’s, in Blasdell, was forced to temporarily close after a server failed to wear a mask while in direct contact with the public.

The Groove Lounge, in Buffalo, and The Stage, in Clarence, were temporarily forced to close because of social gatherings exceeding 50 people and “patrons standing, drinking, dancing without face coverings, no food observed, no social distancing,” according to the Comptroller’s report.

More details on fines that were issued in Erie County can be found here.

Evan Anstey is a digital content producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here.

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