Greene County leaders had harsh words for a local business owner who flaunted the county’s revised stay-at-home order.
Travis Zarechi, the owner of The Barn House, reopened his facility for bingo night on Wednesday, May 6, in defiance of the county’s order. According to Greene County officials, Zarechi had been in contact with various officials including Greene County Presiding Commissioner Bob Dixon and Springfield-Greene County Health Department head Clay Goddard who advised him to follow the county’s order, but chose to ignore them and violate the ordinance.
“It’s reckless,” Goddard said at a Thursday press conference. “It’s not where we need to be at this phase of recovery. If we squander all the work that we’ve done, that doesn’t seem to make sense.”
Goddard went on to praise the businesses who followed the orders.
“They are doing the right things for our community,” Goddard said. “I recognize there have been a lot of sacrifices.”
“I thought it was shameful and disrespectful to everyone else who has made immeasurable sacrifice,” Greene County Commissioner Bob Dixon said. “An enormous amount of people in this community have suffered so that we could not allow this disease to get out of hand and we’ve been able to be successful.”
“To have one business owner open up in such a way,” Dixon added, “He knew. He got clarification because I asked director Goddard to call him last night. And the response we received on the phone was certainly not helpful. I’ll just leave it there.”
Dixon then took aim at what he called misinformation on “Fakebook.”
“I would encourage folks to not just trust [an article] just because somebody they trust shared it,” Dixon said. “Look to the CDC, look to their guidelines that were there, look to the order. As I told the business owner last night, look to the fact that 70,000 people have died in the last two months. That’s more than the entire Vietnam war. It didn’t seem to phase him, though. So I think it was selfish.”
In a follow up question, Dixon said that Zarechi’s actions could have negative consequences for his business, and specifically mentioned his restaurant’s license.