Gov. Tom Wolf

Gov. Tom Wolf speaks during a press conference Monday, Dec. 7, 2020.

The state Department of Agriculture ordered five restaurants to close last week for violations of COVID-19 mitigation requirements. None were from Lancaster County.

For the week ending Feb. 28, the agriculture department issued “closed by order” notices to Corner Stable in York; Millersburger Hotel in Millersburg, Windy Knoll Farm in Chambersburg; The Port Bar and Grill in Port Carbon; and Eagle’s Wind Coffee House in Shamokin Dam.

The agriculture department said the businesses refused to correct violations of dining capacity limits or masking rules while an inspector was present. Lancaster city, which does its own restaurant inspections, did not issue any closure orders last week.

Since mid-December, the agriculture department has issued 166 “closed by order” notices to restaurants that violated a three-week indoor dining ban that ended Jan. 4, or ignored other rules. In Lancaster County, 28 restaurants have gotten the closure notices, more than any other county where restaurants are inspected by the state.

The agriculture department’s weekly reports on COVID-19 restaurant inspections do not include data from the 140 local health departments and six counties that do their own enforcement of the state’s health code. In Lancaster County, Lancaster city is the only municipality that conducts its own restaurant inspections.

The closure notices don’t necessarily mean a restaurant will shut down, and most have actually stayed open. But if they continue to operate, they can be referred to the Department of Health for further measures. So far, the health department has sued 40 restaurants in Commonwealth Court for violating COVID-19 rules. Seven Lancaster County restaurants are named in those lawsuits.

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