Virginia Department of Health receiving complaints about businesses not complying with mask mandate

Governor Ralph Northam talked about how well Northern Virginia is doing in terms of COVID-19 cases and positivity rates going down on Tuesday – but what about how the region is doing when it comes to complying with the governor’s mask mandate?

Face coverings must be worn inside all businesses in the state but our FOX 5 cameras captured people not complying.

RELATED: Virginia restores some COVID-19 restrictions, but isolated to Hampton Roads area

Compliance is everything and based on new information from the Virginia Department of Health – it’s not always happening.

At least 12,000 complaints have come in so far statewide since the mandate went into effect.

FOX 5 has learned those complaints led to at least eight restaurants in the Tidewater and Mechanicsville region having their license revoked for a period of time.

The number of reports for each district received in the online portal since June 14: 

  • Alexandria - 227
  • Arlington - 182
  • Fairfax - 791 
  • Loudoun - 372 
  • Prince William - 497

FOX 5's Tisha Lewis reports that it seems the most common place folks are not wearing a mask is inside the convenience store at gas stations. They are required there as well. We even saw an employee with their mask pulled down.

READ MORE: Virginia Gov. Northam warns he may roll back reopening if COVID-19 numbers don't improve

Gov. Northam’s mask mandate is aimed at helping curb community transmission of the coronavirus. The mandate went into effect on May 29 and remains in effect indefinitely. 

In Prince William County, the county’s environmental health department responds to complaints that are reported electronically for the brick and mortar stores and restaurants. The state's department of health also responds to complaints.

When the state’s department of health receives a complaint in the online portal, the local health district staff triage the complaint by the severity of the report, which includes the number of people impacted, whether multiple reports have been received, if social distancing and face coverings for employees and patrons are included.

VDH may respond by educating via phone call or by conducting an on-site visit. 

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