‘Where’s the transparency?’ Restaurant, bar owners demand to see proof that they caused COVID-19 spike

‘Where’s the transparency?’ Restaurant, bar owners demanding to see proof that they caused COVID-19

ALLEGHENY CO., Pa. — Several local restaurant and bar owners are demanding to see proof that their establishments caused a spike in COVID-19 cases.

The owner of House of 1,000 Beers in Warrendale told Channel 11 that he is not taking the state or county’s word for it any longer.

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“You have to wonder why that you have data... and you’re hurting people’s livelihoods, and you’re killing off businesses ... why wouldn’t you want to release the data that supports your actions?” said owner Art Barbus.

The co-owners of The Oven in Wexford want to see proof as well.

“Where’s the transparency, and if there’s not going to be any, why not?” James Samreny said.

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Owners feel they aren’t getting a fair shake and want a better explanation on why Allegheny County and state health officials tacked on more restrictions after Pa. moved into the green phase.

Meanwhile, Allegheny County health officials said during a press conference Wednesday that they are seeing a decline in new cases, and the curve is starting flatten a bit since they implemented the latest restrictions.

They have continued to perform contact tracing, finding out where people have been once they have diagnosed with COVID-19. Officials released the following data from the previous period:

They have continued to perform contact tracing, finding out where people have been once they have diagnosed with COVID-19. Officials released the following data from the previous period:
They have continued to perform contact tracing, finding out where people have been once they have diagnosed with COVID-19. Officials released the following data from the previous period: (Allegheny County Health Department)

Despite this weekly contact tracing data, struggling restaurant and bar owners want more details.

Dr. Debra Bogen, director of the health department, said they have released what they can so far, but they won’t release specifics.

“We will never release individual level case data because that is private, confidential HIPPA-related data. We provide the summoned data that we’ve reported out and will continue to report out to you as we do our case investigations,” Bogen said.

Allegheny Co. restaurant task force visits 385 businesses in first week, most without violations