PLEASANT HILL (KPIX) — A group of about two dozen supporters gathered outside the In-N-Out hamburger restaurant in Pleasant Hill Thursday evening to support the fast-food chain’s recent refusal to follow COVID health orders by not requiring customers to show vaccination status when dining indoors.

“I think it’s no restaurant’s business if you are vaccinated or not,” said one Contra Costa County resident who was breaking his diet to eat a Double-Double burger.

Earlier this month the Contra Costa County health department got complaints that the Pleasant Hill In-N-Out wasn’t checking vaccination status for customers eating inside.

On Tuesday, Contra Costa County health officials shut the Pleasant Hill location down for repeat violations of COVID-19 health orders.

Authorities already fined the fast food restaurant multiple times for not verifying vaccine status for dine-in customers. The week before, the Contra Costa County Health Department told KPIX it had issued three citations to the restaurant, and this week another citation was issued, bringing the total in fines to $1,700. Until the Tuesday shut down, employees remained defiant and continued to violate county COVID protocols.

Twenty-four hours later, a take-out-only agreement was reached.

In-N-Out isn’t the only area restaurant that’s been slapped with fines. Lumpy’s diner on Lone Tree Way in Antioch has also been fined. Signs posted at the restaurant made it clear they welcome vaccinated or unvaccinated.

“They don’t ask, we just walk in,” said a county resident. “Some places we have gone do ask and other places they don’t ask.”

Lumpy’s was fined $250 Sept. 23 for county health code violations and fined another $500 four days later. In these cases it was for not enforcing face covering requirements.

Fuddruckers in Concord was also fined $250 for health code violations.

KPIX requested an interview with the county department and received this statement:

“In Contra Costa County the primary goal of health order enforcement is to educate businesses and residents about how to keep themselves and the community safe from COVID-19 and to gain compliance.”

Juliette Goodrich