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Allegheny Co. Creates 'COVID Field Response Team' To See Which Businesses Aren't Following Coronavirus Orders

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Allegheny County is launching a team that will visit businesses and use checklists to see who is following coronavirus orders. The name of the business and a copy of the checklist will then be posted to the county's website for the public to see.

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald says the county has received about 1,900 "COVID-related requests" and over 1,700 have been reviewed, completed and closed. Another 100 are in progress.

"One of the things we've stressed since the very beginning of this pandemic is that we want everyone to do things as safely as possible to protect the public."

He says the county has heard that it should provide information on which businesses are and aren't following the rules, and that there's confusion about what businesses should and shouldn't do.

Join us at 4:00 pm for a special COVID-19 update provided by County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Health Department Director Debra Bogen, MD.

Posted by Allegheny County Government on Wednesday, July 22, 2020

In response, the county is launching a "COVID Field Response Team" Thursday morning.

Fitzgerald says team members will visit businesses in the community to see if they're following precautions like the state mask mandate and restrictions from the state and county. Members will complete a checklist and a copy, along with "education materials," will be given to management.

The checklist and the name of the business will then be posted to the county's website at a link that goes live tomorrow so "the public can see which businesses are working hard to keep everybody safe."

Team members will first go to restaurants and bars people have complained about, says Fitzgerald. If that business isn't following rules, an inspector will be sent out. This could result in the facility being shut down.

The team will also make sure indoor smoking and vaping aren't happening.

Some of the things the COVID Field Response Team will look for is if tables are spaced far enough apart, if indoor occupancy is capped at 25 percent, if staff and customers are wearing masks and if there are signs reminding guests of safety precautions.

Fitzgerald says this isn't to punish people, but the county wants businesses to follow rules.

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