Lincoln bowling alley to stay open after ordered closed for violation of mask mandate

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ALincoln bowling alley and restaurant was ordered to close for 24 hours by the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department for violations of the city’s mask mandate.

Madsen’s Bowling & Billiards, near 48th and Holdrege Streets, and the attached EJ’s Lounge & Grill were asked to close from 2 p.m. Saturday to 2 p.m. Sunday for violations of the directed health measure that requires Lincoln residents to wear masks.

But that won’t happen, the Lincoln Journal Star reported.

“As a business owner, I am not responsible for adults and their own health,” General Manager Ben Madsen told the Journal Star.

Madsen said he does not plan to close.

Inspectors from the Health Department found significant violations of the city’s mandate Friday, including employees without masks, signs that indicated wearing masks was optional and a lack of social distancing, according to a press release. Health Department staff met with Madsen’s management Wednesday after receiving complaints.

The mandate requires masks to be worn indoors, unless 6 feet of separation can be maintained, for Lincoln residents over age 5. Exceptions can be made, including while exercising or while seated in a bar or restaurant eating or drinking. Employees who have close contact with patrons must also wear a mask under the mandate.

The Health Department reported 53 new cases of COVID-19 in Lancaster County on Saturday, pushing the total to 3,074.

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