Willoughby bar investigated after post-Christmas pictures show COVID-19 protocol disregard

Willoughby bar investigated after post-Christmas pictures show COVID-19 protocol disregard
1899 Pub apparently disregarding coronavirus protocols the day after Christmas (Source: 19 News)

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A young woman home for the holidays says she couldn’t believe what she saw when the walked into The 1899 Pub the day after Christmas.

“Everyone was just so blatantly ignoring the precautions,” said the woman, who wants to remain anonymous.

The bar was packed with seemingly no regard to distancing or mask-wearing.

The Lake County Health Department calls it a disregard of state policies.

“The pictures concern me because obviously, they’re not adhering to the policy on how many people are allowed in the establishment,” says Chris Loxterman, of the Lake County Health Department. “If they’re up mingling and walking around, they’re required to have masks on instead of being seating and eating, so they’re definitely not following the policies and protocols that are supposed to be in place to follow the guidance that’s set up by the state.”

Willoughby bar investigated after post-Christmas pictures show COVID-19 protocol disregard

The Ohio Investigative Unit will look into the situation as well.

“We do continue to find spots across Ohio that just are allowing egregious violations of social distancing primarily,” says Eric Wolf, of the OIU.

For the 20-something woman who walked through the doors and took the pictures, the fight against coronavirus and the observing of protocols are personal.

“I did have COVID and it was one of the worst experiences,” she says. “I want to see an end of COVID. I don’t want to keep living like this forever.”

The Lake County Health Department will send a warning letter to the bar.

Hopefully, this is just an anomaly,” says Loxterman. “I don’t know if this was a one-day occurrence for a specific event.”

If law enforcement observes violations and cites the bar, The 1899 Pub can face punitive measures from Ohio Liquor Control ranging from fines to suspension of loss of liquor license.

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