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Montgomery County Officials Close Businesses Not Complying with COVID-19 Restrictions

For Immediate Release: Monday, July 6, 2020

            After visiting more than 1,900 businesses to provide education about the requirements to comply with reopening, Montgomery County inspectors visited businesses in Wheaton, Rockville, Silver Spring and Bethesda over the holiday weekend and closed several businesses for not complying with restrictions.

            The Palisades Lounge, located at 8211 Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring, was cited and closed for not maintaining appropriate physical distancing of customers and for a liquor violation.  The Palisades has been visited several times by both County business ambassadors and inspectors.

            In addition to the Palisades Lounge, the Cabana Hookah Lounge, located at 8227 Georgia Avenue was also closed because they are not part of Phase 2 reopening and did not have a license to operate.

           “We are going to do what we need to do to ensure we stay safe. As part of that, we've opened up more of our businesses,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “We've had business ambassadors visit businesses to share reopening requirements, provide checklists and to answer questions and help as we can. The overwhelming majority of our businesses are open, following rules intended to keep everyone safe and enthusiastic about being able to serve their customers and clients once again. I will reiterate what I've said before and about which I have been very clear: Businesses will stay open provided they follow the public health guidelines. If they choose to ignore public health guidance, we will shut them down.”

            Over the past few weeks, County business ambassadors visited business to share information on what they need to do to comply with the restrictions for reopening. 

            The County received a complaint on June 29 about employees not wearing masks at the Grille at Flower Hill in Gaithersburg; and a health inspector from the Department of Health and Human Services visited the restaurant on Thursday, July 2. Normal operating hours for the business are Thursday through Sunday. After receiving a verbal reminder about mask requirements, the County again received complaints over the weekend. As the restaurant does not reopen until Thursday, a visit by an inspector will not take place until then.

            “As we receive complaints about businesses such as the Grille at Flower Hill in Gaithersburg for not following requirements for the wearing of face masks and keeping customers physically distanced, we will fully investigate each complaint,” said County Health Officer Dr. Travis Gayles. “If we find that a business has been educated and continues to willfully ignore the requirements to safely reopen, we will use our legal authority to prohibit their operations until they comply.” 

            In addition to visits from the business ambassadors, there is specific information posted on the COVID-19 website with requirements and guidance for a variety of businesses, including retail, restaurants, pool, hair salons and barber shops.

            Residents who have concerns about a business not following COVID-19 restrictions should email hhsmail@montgomerycountymd.gov or call 311.

            For the latest COVID-19 updates, visit the County’s COVID-19 website as well as the County’s data dashboard or follow Montgomery County on Facebook @MontgomeryCountyInfo and Twitter @MontgomeryCountyMD

            Put the “count” in Montgomery County! Be sure to complete the Census online, by phone, or by mail. It’s safe, confidential, easy, and important. #2020Census #EveryoneCountsMCMD 

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Release ID: 20-363
Media Contact: Mary Anderson 301-529-7669