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ASU President Michael Crow accuses 4 Mill Ave. bars of COVID violations

Photo submitted to Arizona State University President Michael Crow to the Arizona Department of Health Services on Sept. 9, 2020, of alleged COVID-19 violations at a bar on Mill Avenue in Tempe, Arizona.

PHOENIX – Arizona State University President Michael Crow has flagged multiple Mill Avenue establishments for possibly violating state-mandated COVID-19 regulations.

In a letter sent last week to Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, Crow reported potential infractions at four Tempe restaurants that serve alcohol in the dining and entertainment district next to ASU.

Crow included photos from each establishment and detailed instances of patrons crowding together Sept. 5-6.

“The violations which are described in the attachments to this email all occurred at restaurants on Mill Avenue in Tempe and represent the kind of undisciplined and risky activity which, if not properly addressed in a timely manner, could worsen COVID-19 spread among the ASU community and in the larger community surrounding the Tempe campus,” Crow wrote in the letter dated Wednesday, which was also sent to Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control Director John Cocca.

Crow alleged that three of the businesses — Zipps Sports Grill, 414 Pub & Pizza and Loco Patron — were violating the regulations mandated for bars that serve food on both nights cited.

The other, Kung Fu Tea, was flagged for possible capacity and physical distancing violations on Sept. 6.

Crow also said 414 Pub & Pizza was allowing patrons to participate in karaoke both nights, which is prohibited under the state reopening regulations.

“While I understand it may be difficult for restaurants to control the behavior of their customers, it is imperative that the ownership and staff of these restaurants speak up and make an effort to do so,” he wrote.

“There were many other examples of other restaurants on Mill Avenue taking thoughtful and proactive action to abide by the rules and these restaurants can serve as role models for how we can all work together to manage COVID-19 spread.”

On Thursday, ASU reported 83 new coronavirus cases, bringing the school’s total number of positive tests among students and staff since Aug. 1. to 1,385.

ASU said 879 students and 142 faculty and staff members had been cleared to resume activities after previously testing positive for COVID-19.

On Aug. 28, Maricopa County reached the COVID-19 benchmarks established by the state health department that allowed businesses that were closed since June 29 under executive order — indoor gyms, bars/nightclubs serving food, indoor theaters, water parks and tubing operators — to begin reopening.

Those businesses had to fill out an online attestation form pledging to follow capacity restrictions and other health requirements before they could resume operations.

On Aug. 30, the state health department shut down Glow Shots & Cocktails on Mill Avenue for violating its attestation.

A handful of other businesses around the state have also been shut down for coronavirus violations.

For all articles, information and updates on the coronavirus from KTAR News, visit ktar.com/coronavirus.

Arizona open and hiring: If you’re looking for job openings, visit ktar.com/arizonahiring.

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