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Saying its proprietor refused to follow a standing public health directive designed to prevent novel coronavirus outbreaks, the San Diego County health department ordered an Escondido business on the shores of Lake Hodges to close immediately Friday.

Signed by Dr. Wilma Wooten, San Diego County’s public health officer, the document says that the Hernandez Hideaway restaurant at 19320 Lake Drive “shall be immediately closed” and may not reopen until the operation shows “that social distancing and sanitation standards will be followed.”

Wooten’s order indicates that county environmental health inspectors visited the restaurant on May 29, discovering that those present were not maintaining adequate social distance from each other “nor were employees wearing face coverings.”

Owner Rick Stevens, according to the shut-down order, was warned that his establishment should immediately begin following the rules laid out in the county’s safe-reopening guidelines, but a second visit on June 12 by deputy sheriffs again “observed staff not wearing facial covering.” The county reported receiving a complaint about the lack of face coverings in place at Hernandez Hideaway on June 23.

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