October 20, 2020

Restaurant, bar owners feel singled out in new high-risk level recommendations

By Neal A. Shipman
Farmer Editor

With McKenzie County now being one of the state’s 16 counties that Gov. Doug Burgum raised to the high-risk level for COVID-19 last week, many Watford City restaurant and bar owners say that once again they are the businesses that are being singled out for the most restrictions under the new ND Smart Restart guidelines.
Under the new high-risk guidelines, bars and restaurants are being recommended, but not mandated, to limit occupancy to 25 percent with a cap of 50 people. These businesses are also being encouraged to require face coverings.
“I’m frustrated. We didn’t have an issue with the coronavirus when we were closed before,” states Steve Brenno, owner of the City Bar in Watford City, referring to when Burgum ordered that restaurants and bars could not provide indoor service back in March when the pandemic began.

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