Ordinarily, restaurant inspectors knock off at 5 p.m., and restaurant owners know it.
This is no ordinary Sunday in the bars of Buffalo, where the traditional St. Patrick’s Day drinkfest can span a week. Meanwhile, state-ordered public health measures include limiting restaurants, bars, and other gathering places to operate at half their permitted capacity.
The inspectors are out tonight.
“Anyone wanting to report what they believe to be a violation of the new occupancy guidelines from the from New York State can call the Erie County Department of Health COVID-19 information line, (716) 858-2929,” Erie County Deputy Press Secretary Dan Meyer said.
“Due to an overabundance of complaints received by numerous, numerous county departments,” he said, “it will be staffed tonight and the inspectors will be in the field this evening.”
That line will be staffed tonight until 9, and thereafter 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, Meyer said.
Social distancing, keeping people from otherwise normal gatherings, is one way communities can lessen the impact of viruses.
Ohio and Illinois have already made the call to close bars and restaurants.
In hard-hit Italy, France, and Spain, all are closed.