HARRISBURG, PA – The Department of State’s Bureau of Enforcement and Investigation (BEI) recently released data related to COVID-19 enforcement actions from Feb. 7-14.
With the high number of COVID cases across the commonwealth, the Department of State says it is continuing with compliance enforcement as it relates to the regulated boards and commissions. The information is specific to COVID-19 mitigation requirements for the licensed professions, including social distancing, masking and occupancy limits. These numbers include actions taken during routine inspections and investigations prompted by consumer complaints.
From Feb. 7-14, BEI performed 473 total inspections and opened 16 investigations during which COVID-19-specific compliance was a focus. This week, the Bureau distributed 1 warning letter and no compliance letters relating to COVID-19 mitigation efforts.
BEI follows an education-first model and works with the Department of State’s Prosecution Division to educate and correct on-site before taking official action. Businesses unwilling to correct on-site will first receive a compliance letter issued by the Department to inform a licensee of a current and ongoing violation of the law, regulation or order and instructing them to immediately correct or otherwise remedy the practice that is the source of the violation as an alternative to formal prosecution of the matter.
Following the compliance letter, inspectors will conduct unannounced inspections to ensure compliance or to document failure to comply as necessary. Failure to comply may result in the filing of formal charges by the Prosecution Division.
The Department states it issues a warning letter to notify a licensee of a violation of the law, regulation or order that occurred in the past and is not currently ongoing. A warning letter is issued only after the investigation is considered complete and closed.
COVID-19 mitigation enforcement actions will be released on a weekly basis. Consumers with complaints or concerns about non-compliance for COVID-19 mitigation may file a complaint online. The Department of State form is for complaints specifically related to the areas that the Department regulates, including licensed professionals and certain facilities. The Department of State form is not specific to COVID complaints.
For more information about the Department of State’s COVID-19 response, visit the Department of State website.
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