Newsom weighs in on controversy over In-N-Out's vaccine stance
SAN FRANCISCO - One Bay Area In-N-Out was shut down and another is currently under investigation for violating county health ordinances.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday weighed in on the matter, urging people and businesses to adhere to local health orders. Though he also doubled down on his support for the owners of the In-N-Out chain.
At the company's Fisherman's Wharf location in San Francisco on Wednesday, lunchtime staff advised diners that they had to eat outdoors. This comes after health officials briefly shut down the location two weeks ago over allegations that staff had been allowing customers to eat inside without checking their vaccination status.
The In-N-Out at Fishman's Wharf has since reopened but is once again under investigation by county health officials after they received a complaint that patrons were once again dining indoors.
"The San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) is investigating further and will take next steps to address any observed violations," health officials said in a statement.
In Contra Costa County the In-N-Out in Pleasant Hill was forced to close Tuesday for repeatedly violating county health directives. Though the location reopened Wednesday for drive-thru and carryout orders only.
Newsom said what it amounts to is a difference of opinion on how to handle county health mandates, adding that state and businesses have to work through them.
"I encourage everybody to take seriously local health orders and I encourage everybody to support businesses that support this state," said Newsom. "I appreciate that they are a headquartered California-based company."
Business experts say the issue over vaccine compliance has taken on even more weight with nationwide controversy over local health mandates.
"It is hard to avoid seeing this as a politicized version of what we're seeing all over the country about the controversy of vaccine mandates and what rights the government has, said Associate Dean and Professor at UC Haas School of Business, Jennifer Chatman.
The location in Pleasant Hill and this one in San Francisco aren't the only locations to face scrutiny for not following health guidelines. Locations in Pinole and San Ramon have also received notifications that they were out of compliance.