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Seven Richmond Restaurants Suspended Over COVID-19 Rules

Dr. Danny Avula, head of the Richmond City Health District, speaking at the press conference Wednesday.
Dr. Danny Avula, head of the Richmond City Health District, speaking at the press conference Wednesday. (Crixell Matthews/VPM)

The Richmond City Health District has suspended permits for seven restaurants so far during the coronavirus pandemic. 

While all seven businesses have already had their permits reinstated, health officials are warning business owners that restrictions are still in effect. On Wednesday, Richmond City Health District Director Dr. Danny Avula said the reasons the restaurants were shut down fall into three main categories: employees not wearing masks, customers being allowed to order from the bar and customers not observing social distancing.

“In all of those cases we received a corrective action plan, we reinspected and we were able to reopen those businesses,” he said.

Avula says businesses only had permits suspended if they did not make immediate changes when contacted by the health department. He did not name the specific businesses that were punished for not complying with COVID-19 guidelines.

Avula also warned that the local and state health officials are continuing to investigate complaints.

“My plea to the community moving forward is that we are not out of the woods and that the guidelines still exist and the mask mandate still exists,” Avula said.

Currently in Richmond, COVID-19 infections are on the decline. New cases have been trending downward for 31 days and the percentage of tests coming back positive has also decreased for 24 days. But Avula and Mayor Levar Stoney said Wednesday that a surge in coronavirus cases could come with the cooler weather this fall.