Restaurant’s in the city of Pittsfield can resume indoor dining today. The Pittsfield Board of Health voted unanimously Wednesday night to rescind its November 12th order which suspended indoor dining following a spike in COVID-19 cases.

The move comes after pressure from a coalition of restaurants in the city led by Craig Benoit who owns the Hot Dog Ranch on West Housatonic Street. Benoit started a petition and garnered the support of 28 or so restaurant owners in the city before bringing it to Pittsfield City Hall on Monday. He told the Berkshire News Network that he intended to hand it to Mayor Linda Tyer. She however was not available to meet with him at that time.

On Tuesday morning, Benoit along with other restaurant owners met with Mayor Tyer and other city and heath officials via Zoom meeting to discuss the topic at length. Following that session which lasted roughly an hour and fifteen minutes, the Pittsfield Board of Health voted unanimously on Wednesday to rescind the order which has been in place for nearly three weeks.

The Board of Health, after rescinding the original order, put a new one in place. Per the new order, restaurants in the city will have to limit tables to six people and collect contact information from each reservation that is made incase contact tracing becomes necessary. The restaurant owners will also be meeting with Mayor Tyer every two weeks.

Benoit told the Berkshire News work Wednesday night that he is glad to get his employees back to work and happy for the other restaurant owners in the city. He did also say that he is taking the coronavirus issue seriously and will do everything necessary to keep his employees and his customers safe.

Benoit further said that he understands that not everyone feels comfortable in regard to dining indoors at restaurants right now and suggested that those people can simply stay home...

Just stay home. If you feel safer home than coming out, I get it. Keep yourself safe if you don’t think it’s safe.

 

Social media response to this issue has been very impassioned. Our previous article, Pittsfield Restaurant Owners Petition City to Resume Indoor Dining, was posted on our Facebook page and several Pittsfield Facebook group pages. It garnered many colorful responses from both those in favor of resuming indoor dining and those who were opposed.

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