Two Kent businesses found to be in violation of coronavirus rule restrictions
KENT — Two Kent businesses were found to be in violation of COVID-19 protocols since June when a majority of businesses were allowed to reopen, according to local health officials.
The violations occurred at Cozzy’s Pizzeria and Kent Pizza Garden, according to Torrington Area Health District Deputy Health Director Thomas Stansfield and complaint reports. An investigation is ongoing into a minor incident at another establishment, he said.
Residents were urged by Gov. Ned Lamont to remain vigilant about businesses they patronize and whether protocols for coronavirus were being followed. The state has established a process for people to file complaints.
After a complaint was filed June 30 regarding Cozzy’s Pizzeria, officials warned the establishment on July 1 that they needed to abide by sector rules, Stansfield said. When an official visited the business for an inspection on July 2, he found an employee wasn’t wearing a mask, was a lack of COVID-19 related signs in the restaurant and normal condiment containers were still on the tables instead of single-use portions, Stansfield said. All of those actions were in violation of the state coronavirus protocols for restaurant reopenings.
Since the complaint, health officials have visited the facility twice and have found no sector rule violations, which covers issues with COVID-19 safety compliances, Stansfield said.
In response to requests for comment Wednesday, a representative from Cozzy’s directed a reporter to call back another time and hung up.
In October, another complaint was filed with health officials about sector rule violations at Kent Pizza Garden.
The complaint report indicates the person who reported the issues had visited on Sunday, Oct.4 and saw that the “[w]aiters and chef were wearing masks below their noses” and social distancing was not occurring in an area with a line of people near a table of people. When a health official followed up and visited the restaurant on Oct. 6, they saw similar conditions, according to the report.
An official warned the restaurant about the violations, Stansfield said, and the health district returned on Oct. 9 for a re-inspection. When a representative saw they were “still not in compliance,” the health district ordered Kent Pizza Garden to close until they made necessary changes, Stansfield said.
The restaurant “immediately abided by” the order and was asked to deep clean the premises, Stansfield said. The business was re-inspected later that day, and officials saw that they had done so and “complied with all of our requests,” opening hours later, Stansfield said.
“They put up social distancing markers, all the staff had masks, they were doing everything that they were asked to do and we re-opened them that same day,” Stansfield said.
Management from Kent Pizza Garden did not respond to requests for comment.