Code enforcement officers seek to educate businesses on coronavirus violations in Rochester


A bartender pours a beer for a customer at Shade Bar NYC in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Restaurants and bars caught violating COVID-19 safety rules can be investigated by local code enforcers and police.

The code enforcer has to investigate each and every complaint that comes in. Jason Kaluza is the code enforcement officer in the Village of Fairport and he said it’s his goal to educate a business and help them fix anything that may be unsafe — but sometimes it has to go beyond that.

Kaluza said he receives a list of violations from the county each morning, and he checks for Fairport businesses. Then, makes trips to the businesses to check things out.

“If we see the staff is encouraging the right behaviors and we see patrons are aware and following the right requirements you can see that maybe it was a one time concern and at that point once you make that determination you can talk to the owner and let them know, ‘hey we received a violation and I’ve been in several times since that violation occurred and you’re doing all the right things,” Kaluza said.

The first violation is handled with education. If the same violation happens a second time, there’s a different process.

“We will issue another notice of violation notice of remedy and we’ll also issue an appearance ticket in village court. If they’re an establishment that serves alcohol we’ll also refer the case to the state liquor authority,” Kaluza said.

Common violations relate to poor social distancing, people not wearing masks and large gatherings outside restaurants.

“We want to partner with them,” Kaluza said, “We don’t want to be a gotcha we want to partner with them any way we can to help them get through this.”

People who wish to report violations can call the Monroe County PAUSE hotline, local police, or the local code enforcement officer directly.

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