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Businesses react to Governor lifting capacity restrictions

Published: Mar. 5, 2021 at 7:58 PM EST
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) -

On Friday, Governor Jim Justice announced businesses in the state of West Virginia can open up their doors to allow full capacity. This was decided based on the downward trend of COVID-19 cases and the upward trend of people getting vaccinated.

“Well, it means that I’m hoping that money will come back in and that, you know just seeing my friends and people again and just to be able to, you know supply the food that we love doing here for them,” said Corner Cafe Owner Sheryl Edwards.

The number one thing for businesses is the safety of their employees and customers as social distancing and mask-wearing will continue to be required.

“I mean there’s always that one particular person who’s not happy, but we do everything we possibly can to keep everybody safe,” Edwards said. “We have our hand sanitizer out, we wear our face masks, which about kills us at times, but I mean I welcome it. As much as possible I welcome it.”

Like Edwards, YMCA of Parkersburg CEO Jeff Olson says everyone should continue to be respectful of each other to stay as safe as possible.

Olson says the past 12 months have required his team to constantly juggle classes and follow new guidelines put in place by the governor and is excited to welcome more people back to the “Y”.

“I’m excited for the community to get back outside,” Olson said. “That doesn’t mean we can’t do it in an unsafe way. And just having people back in the “Y” I think really makes them happy and it makes us happy when they’re here.”

Alyssa Gossett, Parkersburg Brewing Company General Manager, said they are excited as well; however, in order to continue promoting safety, they will not be bringing more tables into the restaurant in order to keep customers 6 feet apart.

Gossett said the biggest challenge has been finding people to work again due to the increased capacity.

“Back last March when we shut down for take out only, we did have to lay off the majority of our servers,” Gossett said. “A few of them had left town, a couple of them had babies. We didn’t get everyone back, but we are hoping to be fully staffed again very soon.”

To Edwards, this increase will allow her to see customers and her employees again, and hopefully see everyone being happy and smiling after a rough patch.

“It’s been a rough, rough year and a half. It means a lot to me. It means that I’m hoping my customers will start coming back in again and hoping that I can keep the place open.”

The lifted capacity restrictions go into effect at midnight on Friday.

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