SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – After months of closures and COVID-19 restrictions, Iowa is now seeing the last stages of businesses begin the process of reopening.
Businesses that are among the last few to reopen are considered the most vulnerable. So, despite getting the green light to reopen, some COVID restrictions remain. Retailers are among the businesses allowed to eliminate the 50% capacity restrictions beginning Friday.
Jenni Ebner is a co-owner of Boutique 20. She said her boutique once again will host events in-store that typically bring in large gatherings. Ebner adds she’s also expecting business to pick back up because of loosened restrictions.
“We do expect to see more people shopping… They’re excited about this new announcement of capacity being lifted. We are looking forward to seeing that uptick in traffic in the store as well,” Ebner said.
“Not a lot’s changing for us,” Jim Brown, the manager of The Wheelhouse Bar & Grill, said.
For some businesses like bars and restaurants the lifted capacity restriction doesn’t offer much as social distancing is still required.
“Business as usual. It’s really nothing different than what we have been doing really… Since we are making headway, I just think it’s a matter of time now. They are easing restrictions so I can see it going back to normal soon. Hopefully, by July we can get all restrictions lifted,” Brown said.
He adds he’s happy to have large gatherings again but he said there’s only so many square feet to set social distance.
As for reopenings, Governor Reynolds has allowed nursing homes to begin the process.
But, the executive director at Sunrise Retirement Community said the process of opening isn’t simple.
“We’ve been given a three stage phased plan by the state and each phase lasts 14 days… and visitation can’t even really resume until the third phase which another 14 days will be in July,” Hallie Salmen said.
She said the center can’t move forward to the next phase unless there’s been no infections. However, she adds that both residents and staff are excited to have at least a plan in place to begin officially re-opening.
Swimming pools and adult day-care centers have also received the okay to begin re-openings.