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Businesses investigated for violating COVID-19 regulations

The Huntsville - Madison County Health Department says the most common complaint they are getting is employees not wearing face masks.

MADISON COUNTY, ALABAMA, Ala. — From restaurants to tattoo shops, the pandemic has changed the way businesses have to operate. If you head into a restaurant right now, you will notice people are no longer seated at tables right next to each other. That's just one of the new requirements inspectors are looking out for.

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Cheryl Clay, Public Health Environmental Supervisor for the Huntsville-Madison County Health Department, said, "We do require the social distancing. If you have one group of people sitting at one table and another group of people sitting at a table adjacent to them, there has to be six feet of space between the groups of people."

It is also required for restaurant employees to wear face masks when interacting with the public, yet the Huntsville-Madison County Health Department says the most common complaint they are getting is workers not wearing masks. There is one misconception, though.

"They think that the employees, if they're just back in the kitchen, have to wear masks," said Clay. "That is currently not a requirement of the order. Now, the owner of a business may require that of their employees, but its not a requirement of the state at this time."

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When people put in a complaint, they say that business is looked into within two business days. The health department has already done several investigations and has had to suspend some permits to operate.

"They can have their permit reinstated once they write a corrected plan of how they're going to address the violations, enact their plan, and then the inspector verifies that they're following the plan and that there are no more violations," said Clay. "Then, we reinstate their permit, but everyone has been very cooperative and this has been always a very quick process."

If you see that a business is violating COVID-19 regulations, you can make a complaint. Just call 256-533-8726.