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Evaro bar ordered to enforce COVID regs
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Evaro bar ordered to enforce COVID regs

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A Missoula judge Monday ordered the Evaro Bar and Casino to comply with COVID-19 restrictions or face closure.

Missoula District Judge Leslie Halligan issued a temporary restraining order against the bar owners, requiring them to stop violating the COVID-19 restrictions set by the Missoula City-County Board of Health. The bar must be in compliance with the county’s requirements by Wednesday.

The Evaro Bar and Casino, 17025 Highway 93, is working with the Missoula City-County Board of Health to come into compliance, said Jeanna Miller, environmental health manager for the county’s COVID-19 response team. The Evaro Bar and Casino directed any questions about the temporary restraining order to their lawyer, Quentin Rhoades.

Rhoades is a Missoula attorney who is also representing several groups in a suit against the Missoula City-County Board of Health’s overall COVID-19 mitigation regulations. That lawsuit was brought in part by Stand Up Montana, a Gallatin County-based nonprofit group that mimics other groups popping up across the country to oppose COVID-19 mitigation strategies. Rhoades did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

To be in compliance with COVID-19 restrictions, Missoula County bars and restaurants must enforce face coverings for employees as well as for customers who are not eating and drinking. The businesses must maintain physical distancing between people in the business and post signs altering customers and employees to COVID-19 mitigation requirements. The businesses must also follow cleaning and sanitizing rules as well as conduct pre-shift health assessments.

The Missoula City-County Board of Health is also investigating Rock Creek Lodge for violations of the county’s COVID-19 requirements, Miller said. The health department generally learns of compliance issues with establishments by doing inspections or receiving complaints from staff or customers, Miller said.

Another review of the Evaro Bar and Casino’s compliance will be held Thursday.

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