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Kent County Health Department orders Grand Rapids tavern closed violating social distance protocol

picture of Kent County Health Department sign

A Grand Rapids area bar has been ordered closed by Kent County officials after it failed to adhere to social distance protocols.

After a cellphone video circulated on social media revealing Grand Rapids’ Social House Tavern crowd in violation of social distance protocols, the Kent County Health Department ordered it closed until further notice.

“We take these things all very seriously. And, in particular, when it comes to bars and restaurants.”

Dr. Adam London is Director of the Kent County Health Department.

“Those places have a license to operate. They also have very clear expectations on what they should be doing to limit the size of their crowds, to maintain social distancing, and to remain a low-risk place of operation.”

When validated complaints come in from law enforcement or department inspectors, action will be taken.

“And we’re requiring those establishments to have corrective action plans. We’re requiring them to demonstrate that they’re taking this seriously and that they’re making corrections to prevent those problems from happening again. And if they do violate those corrective action plans, we will then move to close those establishments for a longer period of time. Perhaps, up to the point in which our region enters Phase 5 of the MI Safe Start Plan.”

Currently, West Michigan is in Phase 4.

Social House Tavern addressed the matter on Facebook, “The video circulating on social media showing patrons not adhering to social distancing and safety suggestions in our restaurant is one example of where we could have done better. We apologize for our shortcomings displayed in the video and have implemented internal changes to ensure that does not happen again.”

Dr. London says most establishments are implanting safety measures responsibly making sure that they can stay open and making sure the community doesn’t see a resurgence in COVID-19 cases.

I’m Patrick Center

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.