Businesses fined, warned over COVID-19 mask violations

The vast majority of Skagit County businesses are complying with emergency rules to curb the spread of COVID-19, but a few have been cited and fined for violations.

The Skagit Valley Herald reports Skagit Arms is the first county business to be fined by the Department of Labor & Industries for a COVID-19 mask violation, though at least one other local business has been cited by the state Liquor and Cannabis Board and has requested a hearing.

Skagit Speedway, meanwhile, received a written warning for a large outdoor political rally held at the racetrack in October, though no fine was issued.

Eight other businesses throughout the state also had been cited and fined for mask violations in the past two months. Fines ranged from $900 to $7,500. Businesses have 15 days to appeal.

“The firearm and ammunition store (in Burlington) was fined $3,600 for not requiring employees or customers to wear masks and for violating social distancing rules,” Labor & Industries said in a news release.

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Other businesses were fined for operating when they weren’t allowed to, in violation of Gov. Jay Inslee’s four-phase Safe Start reopening plan. No Skagit businesses have been cited for Safe Start violations.

By state mandate, businesses must ensure all customers and workers on their premises wear masks to protect against the spread of COVID-19.

On Tuesday, Skagit Arms said it had no comment on the Oct. 30 fine or whether it has appealed.