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Salem Stadium fined $126,749 for violating state coronavirus restrictions



The State of Oregon imposed a fine of $126,749 on a Salem stadium that has repeatedly refused to comply with coronavirus restrictions and closed. This is the state’s highest fine so far for violating coronavirus workplace regulations.

The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Authority (Oregon OSHA) announced on Tuesday that it had imposed a fine on Capitol Racquet Sports for deliberately refusing to comply with its state health order at one of the Courthouse Club Fitness venues in Salem.

Courthouse Club did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday. The gym will have 30 days to decide whether to appeal. It called for sanctions in advance.

Since late November, under the new COVID-1

9 restriction framework proposed by Governor Kate Brown, the “extreme risk” of the spread of COVID-19 has not been allowed in county gyms. Before the introduction of the new regulations, Brown requested that all gyms be closed for two weeks in early November to slow the spread of the virus.

The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) imposed four fines on the Courthouse Club Fitness in November, totaling $90,000, for continuing to operate its facilities during the two weeks of Brown’s freeze. Even after Oregon’s OSHA issued a red warning statement (requiring companies to stop all violations of public safety rules), the state still imposed huge fines on the state after the gym continued to operate. The state issued citations in four Courthouse Club facilities, and the company appealed all of them.

Oregon OSHA conducted another inspection of one of the four facilities on December 9 in response to multiple complaints, and again found that Courthouse Club Fitness deliberately ignored public health orders and the state’s notice of facility closure. This prompted the agency to issue its maximum allowable fine to the stadium.

However, it is not clear whether the state can or will force the closure of stadiums.

Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Commissioner Michael Wood said in a statement: “We know that this employer is trying to take various measures to ensure the safety of employees without shutting down, but this does not allow them to use their own judgment instead. The judgment of the public health department.”

Although a handful of opponents made headlines for refusing to comply with the state’s public health orders, the vast majority of businesses appear to comply with Oregon’s restrictions and closure orders.

During the pandemic, Oregon’s OSHA also rarely imposed fines and citations on companies that did not comply with coronavirus restrictions, and focused on education.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued 12 citations to employers to deliberately ignore COVID-19 health restrictions. In eight of these cases, employers continued to ignore these restrictions even after receiving the red warning notice.

Wood said: “We expect employers to comply with well-founded health regulations that are directly designed to protect workers from real harm.” “Although we have been able to resolve most COVID-19 complaints involving employers through participation and education, But we will continue to use our law enforcement tools as needed.”

-Jamie Goldberg | jgoldberg@oregonian.com | @贾米伯金堡




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