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COVID pandemic: OC restaurant gets backlash for requiring proof customers are not vaccinated

By Jessica De Nova

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    HUNTINGTON BEACH, California (KABC) — The owner of Basilico’s Pasta e Vino spoke out against a backlash on Monday, after posting flyers outside his business and on social media requiring proof that customers are not vaccinated.

The flyers read: “Notice: Proof of being unvaccinated required. We have zero tolerance for treasonous, anti-American stupidity. Thank you for pondering.”

Tanya Scheer, who cuts hair at a nearby barber shop, said she was aware of the owner’s anti-mask, anti-vaccination stance.

They’ve been very open about it throughout the pandemic on their storefront and online.

Scheer, who is vaccinated, said she didn’t feel unwelcomed by it.

“No, because you got other places that want you vaccinated to come in. No different, right? So no,” Scheer said.

Many people are bothered, according to reviews on Yelp.

Dozens left low ratings for Basilico’s with comments like one that read: “What a slap in the face to all those who died from COVID-19.”

The increased public attention led to Yelp temporarily disabling posting on the page.

The owner of the business responded to the backlash in a post on Facebook, writing, in part: “Here come the haters, and with it, the harassing non-stop phone calls, threats and hundreds of one star reviews. And guess what? We at Basilico’s Pasta e Vino wear it as a badge of honor.”

The post added: “We feel blessed to go into battle against all of you in defense of American liberty and freedom, so bring it on!”

Meanwhile, a look at current Orange County COVID-19 case rates shows a rise in infections began almost right after the economy reopened on June 15, when the county’s Health Care Agency reported 191 cases. That number jumped up nearly 10 times a month later.

The data showed the spike was mainly among unvaccinated individuals, with the seven-day average case rate per 100,000 for unvaccinated people at more than 15 Monday. That was five times higher than that of the vaccinated OC community, which was at nearly 3. That case rate for unvaccinated people would put OC back in the most restrictive tier — purple.

If California was still using the tier system, when taking a look at the seven-day average case rate per 100,000 for the vaccinated OC community, the county would be in the orange tier.

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