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Healthcare workers heat a Durango yogurt shop



Top that frozen yogurt in downtown Durango is facing possible coercive measures after allegedly offering a discount to shoppers who entered the store without wearing a face.

“It’s a little different from the usual complaint,” said Brian Devine of the San Juan Basin Public Health.

Earlier this week, Top That, which was allegedly posted on Facebook, offered a 10% discount to anyone who came in and said “Happy Columbus Day”, an obvious retreat to the “Indigenous Peoples Day” movement.

The message said: “And as always, a 10% discount for the absence of masks! Merika !! »

Attempts to slow the spread of COVID-1

9, in accordance with state law indoors, where it is impossible to ensure social distance, require coverage.

The SJBPH portal soon received a stream of complaints about reports of health violations. As of Thursday morning, 76 complaints had been filed against Top That, 58 of them since Monday.

Complaints also included numerous photos of employees and customers not wearing masks inside the store.

Store owner Ryan Bartholomew did not respond to comments. As of Thursday, he turned out to be Top That, which destroyed his entire Facebook page.

SJBPH held consultations Thursday morning with a local law enforcement group formed to meet on public health violations. The group consists of public health organizations, local law enforcement agencies and municipal licenses.

Post to Facebook from Top That Frozen Yogurt in Durango.

Courtesy of La Plata County

Healthcare workers heat a Durango yogurt shop

Post to Facebook from Top That Frozen Yogurt in Durango.

Courtesy of La Plata County

SJBPH also sought the help of the Colorado Attorney General’s Office and the Colorado Department of Health and Environmental Affairs to discuss possible enforcement measures against the yogurt store.

“This is more serious than a violation of PHO (health orders) due to ignorance or lack of management control,” he wrote in a statement. Bulletin of Durango. “And SJBPH is considering all available legal options to stop Top That from deliberately creating a risk to public health.”

Devine said the health department receives daily complaints that businesses do not comply with health regulations, but in most cases they are for minor offenses, such as someone who does not wear a face in a grocery store.

Typically, these situations can be resolved by talking to store owners and devising solutions, and for the most part, businesses try to follow healthcare orders, Davin said.

Image showing a sports team inside a frozen Top That yogurt without a face. The yogurt shop apparently offered a 10% discount to those who did not wear a face mask inside the store. The San Juan Basin Health Department has received dozens of complaints.

Courtesy of La Plata County

Health officials heat the Durango yogurt shop

Image showing a sports team inside a Top That Frozen faceless yogurt shop The yogurt shop apparently offered a 10% discount to those who did not wear a face mask inside the store. The San Juan Basin Health Department has received dozens of complaints.

Courtesy of La Plata County

An employee of Top That Frozen Yogurt in the center of Durango works behind the counter, without a face, apparently violating government health orders.

Courtesy of La Plata County

Health officials heat the Durango yogurt shop

An employee of Top That Frozen Yogurt in the center of Durango is working behind the counter without covering his face, apparently violating government health care orders.

Courtesy of La Plata County

It is much less common for businesses to knowingly and intentionally violate and continue to violate medical orders. Devin estimates that since the beginning of the pandemic in March, there have been about half a dozen cases of businesses going this way.

SJBPH refused to disclose the names of each business, knowingly violating medical orders. As of Thursday, no company had received the link or revoked the license for medical malpractice, the health department said.

But in such situations, the SJBPH will meet with a local law enforcement group to discuss the best course of action.

One of the most public battles concerns the Farmers Fresh Market in Ignacio, which does not require masks from customers or employees. The SJBPH consulted with the State Attorney General’s Office on assistance with further steps.

“We want people in a remote community to be able to shop safely,” said Liane Jollon, San Juan Basin’s chief health officer.

Fresh Market Manager Amos Lee said he allows his employees and customers to decide for themselves whether to wear a face covering and that businesses should not decide to fulfill the mandate.

“We have supported everyone to make their own decisions from the beginning, and we will continue to do so,” he said.

Lee said many people were divided over whether effective masks slow the spread of the virus, and that it was a 50-50 split between employees and shoppers entering a store with a face shield.

“It’s awful, and it’s causing a lot of controversy,” he said. “This whole section in the community, it’s just not very good.”

Studies have shown that people are 20 times more likely to catch COVID-19 indoors than outdoors, Jollon said, and when it comes to the highest risk of spreading in businesses, it is among workers.

“These companies pose the greatest risk to their own workforce,” Jollon said.

And when COVID-19 spreads to employees, these people then take the virus home, leading to further infection and transmission from the community, as well as continuing the pandemic, Jollon said.

Facial coatings are thought to slow the spread of the virus, although wearing masks has become a politicized issue across the country.

Tim Walsworth, executive director of the Durango Business Improvement District, said the government’s face-to-face mandate has helped businesses deliver messages to customers, but it puts employees in a difficult position.

“It puts the business in a funky place where they basically have to distract the customer,” he said. “In certain situations, the situation can become very conflicting when either side wants to have a say.”

In fact, there were outbreaks in Durango due to wearing masks.

In August, a 23-year-old woman from Durango allegedly hit a man in the face after the woman agreed with several people who did not wear faces in O’Reilly auto parts.

The man who hit him in the face was identified as Bartholomew, the owner of Top That.

Crowd of people inside Top Ice Cream Yogurt in downtown Durango, many without faces.

Courtesy of La Plata County

Healthcare workers heat a Durango yogurt shop

A crowd of people inside the Top That Frozen Yogurt in downtown Durango, many without faces.

Courtesy of La Plata County

The Top That Frozen Yogurt sign in the center of Durango reads, “Your mask is as insignificant as Dean Brooke,” referring to Mayor Durango.

Courtesy of La Plata County

Health officials heat the Durango yogurt shop

The Top That Frozen Yogurt sign in the center of Durango reads, “Your mask is as insignificant as Dean Brooke,” referring to Mayor Durango.

Courtesy of La Plata County

The frozen yogurt store seems to have turned into a political lightning bolt in downtown Durango after the display of Republican political signs and flags for various candidates, including Trump Pence and Lauren Bobert, who is running in the 3rd district of Congress.

Earlier this month, 9-R Durango School District students were seen shouting and making vulgar gestures to people in a store during a rally on climate change.

This week alone, a march on Indigenous Day in downtown Durango drew protesters near a yogurt shop, some of whom wore Trump paraphernalia and chanted “The United States.”

In a Facebook post that has since been removed, Top That writes that protesters were not affiliated with or supported the store.

“We do not tolerate the use of hate speech, such as calls for names and / or vulgar gestures from people outside the store,” the statement said.

jromeo@durangoherald.com


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