Six Delaware establishments receive coronavirus non-compliance fines

Six establishments were fined by the Delaware Division of Public Health in October for failing to adhere to guidelines put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Fines ranged from $100 to $15,000. Those cited were Main Street Cafe in Harrington, Trick Trucks & Cars Inc. in Millsboro, BPG Sports in Wilmington, the Green Stinger in Smyrna, the Atlantic Sands Hotel in Rehoboth Beach and American Legion Post 28 in Millsboro.

BPG Sports, who runs the 76ers Fieldhouse in Wilmington, received the largest enforcement action with a $15,000 fine.

In an Oct. 8 letter to BPG Sports, the DPH said it “reviewed evidence provided by concerned citizens” and concluded activities on Sept. 25, Sept. 27, Oct. 2 and Oct. 5 were non-compliant due to lack of face coverings by student-athletes in 30 volleyball games.

The total penalty of $15,000 was $500 per violation for the 30 games.

This is the second fine for BPG Sports who was assessed a $5,000 administrative penalty ($1,000 per violation) for continued noncompliance of COVID-19 requirements in August.

The largest fine given out downstate in October was $1,000, both to the Green Stinger in Smyrna and American Legion Post 28 in Millsboro.

The DPH issued its fine to the Green Stinger on Oct. 13 for a lack of face coverings among staff, based on a visit to the site on Sept. 26. In its letter to the Green Stinger’s Smyrna location the DPH also references site visits in July and August to assess compliance.

American Legion Post 28 was fined on Oct. 15 for an event it hosted on the weekend of Sept. 19.

The DPH said it was contacted by Lt. James Diana of Delaware Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement (DATE) with concerns that the event would significantly exceed 250 people. Information gathered by DATE at the scene confirmed a lack of face coverings by attendees and a lack of social distancing among attendees.

Both violations carried a $500 fine for a total of $1,000.

Main Street Cafe in Harrington was given a $300 fine on Oct. 1 after the DPH made three visits to the site, July 10, Aug. 6 and Aug. 20, after receiving complaints of non-compliance.

The DPH said its “inspectors provided education to Main Street Cafe during these visits to assist with compliance.”

During the July 10 visit, the following violations were observed, according to the DPH:

• Lack of appropriate face coverings among staff and customers.

• Lack of floor markings or signage for counter service/pick-up.

• Lack of disposable menus and condiments.

• Lack of posted signage or guidance to control flow of customers

No fine was issued then. After additional complaints, the DPH said it reinspected the establishment on Aug. 6 and found the following violations:

• Lack of appropriate face coverings among staff and customers.

• Lack of disposable menus and condiments.

• Food service items and utensils pre-set on tables.

• Lack of reopening plan,.

The DPH still did not issue a fine but did another inspection on Aug. 27 and found the following violations:

• Lack of appropriate face coverings among staff and customers.

• Lack of disposable menus and condiments.

• Food service items and utensils pre-set on tables.

The $300 fine given on Oct. 1 by the DPH to Main Street Cafe was “based on the continued failure to comply with COVID-19 requirements” and the $300 was $100 each for the three violations found in the Aug. 26 inspection.

Trick Trucks & Cars Inc. in Millsboro was also fined on Oct. 1, in reference to site inspections done on Aug. 10 and Sept. 8.

In its first visit, DPH inspectors noted lack of face coverings among staff and customers, lack of social distancing among customers and a lack of floor markings or signage to guide customers in appropriately spacing.

During the second inspection, DPH inspectors found two violations — lack of face coverings among staff and customers plus lack of social distancing among customers. The DPH’s fine was $100 for each violation for a total of $200.

The Atlantic Sands Hotel in Rehoboth Beach was fined on Oct. 13 following an inspection on Oct. 9. DPH inspectors also visited the hotel on July 14 and July 18 after receiving complaints of non-compliance.

No violations were found in the July 14 inspection but the follow-up inspection on July 18 found a lack of face coverings among staff in the hotel’s Kiwi Tiki Hut kitchen. The same violation was found on the OCt. 9 inspection, leading to a $100 fine.

The DPH has said not all complaints result in a site visit, about half result in an initial phone call to ensure the business is aware of the requirements and to discuss any issues.

The public can report a place of business for non-compliance by emailing HSPcontact@delaware.gov.


Helpful Coronavirus links

Delaware Division of Health Coronavirus Page
CDC: About the Coronavirus Disease 2019
CDC: What to do if You Are Sick
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
AP News Coronavirus Coverage
Reopening Delaware: Resources for Businesses
Delaware Phase 2 guidance

Have a question, tip, or resources about the coronavirus pandemic? Submit it to our newsroom and we’ll do what we can to provide answers.