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Another In-N-Out closes over COVID vaccine mandate, California health officials say

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Another In-N-Out restaurant in California has been temporarily closed by health officials who say the business is “creating a public health hazard” by violating local vaccine mandates.

Contra Costa Environmental Health suspended the Pleasant Hill In-N-Out location’s food permit and temporarily shut down the restaurant Tuesday because employees were not checking customers’ vaccination status, according to KRON 4.

Health officials said that location had already been fined four times in the last few weeks for violating the health order, amassing $1,750 in fines, KRON 4 reported.

The agency said the restaurant must remain closed “until the hazard is abated,” the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Other In-N-Out locations in California have also faced consequences for violating local health orders. But the company previously asserted that it will not “become the vaccination police for any government,” Arnie Wensinger, the chain’s chief legal and business officer, said in a statement to the Chronicle.

Contra Costa County requires patrons of certain businesses, including bars and restaurants, to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result from within the past few days before entering, according to the county health department’s website.

The mandate echoes the local mandate in San Francisco, which requires proof of vaccination to enter restaurants and bars but does not accept proof of a negative COVID test instead, according to the San Francisco Department of Public Health.

In-N-Out’s sole San Francisco location was ordered closed by city health officials on Oct. 14 because the restaurant was not verifying customers’ vaccination status before letting them dine inside, McClatchy News reported.

Wensinger said the San Francisco restaurant posted information about the city’s mandate but was not enforcing it strictly and was not planning to, KRON 4 reported.

The San Francisco restaurant reopened for takeout and outdoor dining, but the public health department received a complaint saying that the restaurant was still permitting indoor dining, subjecting the location to further investigation, Eater reported.

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