The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) today announced it has issued cease-and-desist orders to The Pizza Depot, in Becker, and Hooligans Lakeside, in Lake Park, after determining that the facilities had violated executive orders designed to protect its employees, customers and community from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Governor Tim Walz issued Executive Order 20-99 on Nov. 18. The executive order prohibits bars and restaurants from offering on-premises dining. The executive order was issued at a time of rapid acceleration in the spread of COVID-19 across Minnesota and sought to protect Minnesotans while also preventing hospitals and health care systems from becoming overwhelmed by the surge in cases.
On Dec. 16, MDH inspected The Pizza Depot in Becker. During the inspection, MDH staff found the establishment was open for on-premises consumption of food and beverage in violation of Executive Order 20-99.
On Dec. 17, MDH inspected Hooligans Lakeside in Lake Park. During the inspection, MDH staff found the establishment was open for on-premises consumption in violation of Executive Order 20-99.
According to MDH Assistant Commissioner Dan Huff, enforcement actions are a last resort when it is clear that education and outreach are not sufficient to help a regulated establishment come into compliance with requirements.
“COVID-19 protocols are designed to slow the spread of this virus and reduce the impacts of this pandemic,” said MDH Assistant Commissioner Dan Huff. “Our preference is always to work with business to bring them into compliance, and we consider regulatory actions as a last resort. The vast majority of businesses are doing their best to help slow down the spread of COVID-19, and we owe it to them to have a consistent and fair enforcement approach.”