EASTON — The Talbot County Health Department suspended the food licenses of the Tilghman Island Country Store and a vendor at the Amish Country Farmers Market in Easton last week, citing the businesses’ noncompliance with a statewide indoor masking mandate during the coronavirus pandemic.
County Health Officer Dr. Fredia Wadley said Tuesday, Aug. 11, her department had received “well over 10 complaints” involving both businesses’ health safety breaches. Before she issued the suspensions, she said, her team had made more than five visits to each to encourage compliance.
Wadley said the Tilghman shop already has had its license reinstated since the weekend closure, after the business requested another inspection and demonstrated it had a plan to follow pandemic-prompted directives.
The Amish market vendor has requested a follow-up inspection on Wednesday, Aug. 12, so that it might be able to open this weekend, the health officer said.
Health department enforcers also visited other areas Saturday afternoon, Aug. 8, where Wadley said her team received complaints about noncompliance at bars.
Wadley did not disclose the bars’ locations, but said the businesses they visited “were fairly well in compliance” and no suspensions were issued.
The health department, she said, will “continue to make weekend and night visits, especially for the bars we get multiple complaints on.”
“We had hoped that businesses would recognize that until people feel safe, they’re not going to fully return in the capacity [a business] can hold,” Wadley said, adding, “If it’s not safe, the business is not going to improve.”
Talbot County Council President Corey Pack, in a recent press release, encouraged county residents to “do our part” in order to keep local businesses open for shopping, dining and recreational activities while the coronavirus health threat remains.
Pack said people should wear face coverings in public, maintain a physical distance from others, and wash their hands and surfaces “frequently.”
“It’s not hard, but it does require social responsibility,” he said. “Let’s keep Talbot County open for business.”