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Health Department Clarifies Role in Café Rosetta Legal Action

The Western Upper Peninsula Health Department has issued a statement clarifying its role in the shutdown order for Calumet’s controversial Café Rosetta. 

In a letter released over the weekend, Health Officer Kate Beer said the agency had received more than 100 complaints about the café’s illegal operations, including offering indoor seating in violation of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Epidemic Order, and not requiring the wearing of masks. An initial investigation by the health department prompted a warning. After the warning was ignored, an order to cease and desist food operations was issued.

After that order was also ignored, Beer said the matter was referred to MDHHS and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, which issues food service licenses. Subsequent investigations, actions and fines have come from MDARD, including a cease and desist order, suspension of the café’s food license, and a temporary restraining order issued in an Ingham County court Friday, after the café continued to refuse to obey the law.

Beer clarified that none of the fines for Café Rosetta’s illegal operation have come from the Western U.P. Health Department. She also noted that, of more than 400 restaurants in the department’s five-county jurisdiction, only four have been referred to state authorities, based on consumer complaints. The other three have since reopened, and are operating within state guidelines.

Beer also expressed optimism that the rollout of vaccines will eventually allow society to return to normal. She asked for continued patience and adherence to guidelines, to prevent the health care system from becoming overwhelmed until vaccines have been widely distributed.

Read the full letter here.

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