OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – “I would rather this be the way that it is instead of shutting down point blank again,” said Kat, the owner of Kat’s Tavern in north Oklahoma City.
Kat’s Tavern is one of many Oklahoma businesses struggling through the pandemic.
“It’s certainly slowed things down considerably,” said Tyler Maune, the owner of New State Burgers and Spirits in the Plaza District.
Now, the coronavirus is rearing its ugly head in Oklahoma City once again. Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt said there was a mild decline at one point.
“However, those declines have now stalled, and the numbers look to be heading up once again,” Holt said.
The Oklahoma City-County Health Department said the cases in the city are doubling. Holt added that the situation is manageable. However, the situation is teetering on the brink of becoming unmanageable.
“With a holiday weekend looming, that precipice is an uncomfortable place to be,” he said.
So, a new proclamation is set to take effect Friday morning. There’s a trio of requirements Holt discussed Wednesday afternoon. Restaurant and bar employees will have to wear masks at work, bars will only be allowed at 50 percent capacity and any theater-style seating arrangement has to move back to staggered seating.
“It is going to hurt,” Kat said. “But not as bad as before.”
Kat’s Tavern and New State Burgers and Spirits are both in Oklahoma City. Both claim they have been doing these requirements already to an extent. Kat said they reopened in May. They wore masks, sanitized, staggered seating and limited attendance to her bar until phase three of the state’s reopening started. Then, she said the employees took their masks off, while still sanitizing and cleaning. However, she said they’re more than willing to put them back on again if it means they can stay open.
“I’m willing to do my part,” Kat said.
New State Burgers and Spirits claims that several of the precautions, distanced seating, masks and sanitizing have been an ongoing thing for them.
“Around the corner they make these, so we provide those for our staff,” Maune said in reference to masks.
According to Kat, they’re still settling into the new normal.
“It’s affecting me and many other business owners as well,” Kat said.
Mayor Holt urged everyone to wear masks as well at his news conference Wednesday, telling everyone this pandemic will stick around if we don’t wear masks.
“The latest spike in cases has reminded us that we will live with this virus for a long time,” Holt said. “This weekend and everyday wear your mask, wash your hands and keep your distance.”
Both Kat’s Tavern and New State Burgers and Spirits said they currently have no plans to mandate mask wearing by patrons in their establishments.
Holt’s new proclamation is set to last for two weeks.
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