Glen Burnie pizzeria addressing COVID-19 complaints of improper use of face masks

Posted at 6:00 PM, Nov 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-05 18:00:42-05

GLEN BURNIE, Md. — The Anne Arundel County Department of Health temporarily closed Champs Pizza Thursday. The closure stems from violations related to COVID-19, specifically the improper wearing of face masks.

"We're trying out best. We had some strikes," said owner Sonny Rawal. "We're going to try again and keep going."

A letter obtained by WMAR-2 News stated that on two separate occasions investigators noticed employees were wearing masks improperly or not at all.

According to the Anne Arundel County Department of Health, investigators responded On October 30, 2020 as a follow-up to a customer's complaint. The customer reported that Champs employees were not wearing face coverings and the establishment was operating in an unsafe manner. Upon inspection, the Champs manager and several employees were improperly wearing face coverings that fully covered the nose and mouth.

The Department of Health issued an Order of Immediate Compliance, which is a warning, not a fine. The Order includes an educational packet consisting of the Governor’s and County Executive’s Executive Orders and guidance related to the violation.

On November 2, 2020, a re-inspection was conducted and the face covering violations still existed. On November 3, the Department of Health ordered Champs to close as an unsafe business not following Executive Orders and putting employees and customers at risk.

As of Thursday the business was closed to customers. Only Sonny Rawa and his wife were on site.

"It is a big test," said Ashley Rawal. "It's definitely been a learning experience but we do have a plan in place."

Those plans, according to the Rawals included new face masks. A termination letter, signed by employees, was also created. It states an employee can be let go if they're not wearing a face mask correctly.

Sonny told WMAR he met with members of the health department earlier in the day Thursday.

"They were nice," he said. "The Health department came and gave us the protocols of what we need to do in order to open them back up."

Champs will remain closed until the business submits a plan of action addressing how it plans to operate in a safe manner. Once the plan is received, the Department of Health will perform a re-inspection to see what conditions have been put in place to prevent further violations.

"We're hoping to be open by tomorrow or at the very latest, Tuesday of next week," Sonny Rawal. "The Health department came and gave us the protocols of what we need to do in order to open back up