Businesses adapt ahead of New Year’s gatherings

DETROIT (WXYZ) – It’s almost time to ring in the New Year with people getting ready to celebrate in places like bars and restaurants.

Around the same time last year, large gatherings and parties were not recommended.

This year, institutions are facing concerns about the omicron variant.

The month of December leading up to New Years celebrations is one of the most profitable times for bars and restaurants, says Bob Roberts. He is president of the Corktown Business Association and owner of McShane’s Irish Pub.

Roberts says local businesses are self-regulating when it comes to COVID-19, given that there are no local or state mandates. It’s different from New Years Eve 2020.

Five months ago, Roberts’ company purchased several HEPA filtration systems to purify and circulate the air. He said the machines are designed to make gatherings indoors for long periods of time safer for customers and employees.

“We are able to swap our air six times per hour as required by the CDC,” explained Roberts.

Other establishments like Green Dot Stables have closed during part of this holiday season “out of excess of caution”. According to his Facebook page, the establishment has reopened Tuesday.

Roberts says Bobcat Bonnies has restored social distancing and adjusted his schedules. Businesses, in general, are adapting and trying to stay ahead of COVID-19.

“There’s also a lot of staffing issues still out there, and then also trying to keep your own staff healthy. I could think of several places right now as well that have some of their staff with COVID, ”he explained.

Dr Asha Shajahan of Beaumont Health says that if you plan to introduce the New Year in a group setting, follow the precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including masking indoors.

Roberts says January and February are generally tough months for bars for a number of reasons. It is therefore potentially a matter of moving from one fight to another. But he hopes a little redemption will come on St. Patrick’s Day.

Additional information and resources on the coronavirus:

See a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

See full coverage on our Continuous cover page of the coronavirus.

Visit our The Detroit Rebound, a place where we work to help those financially affected by the coronavirus. We have all the information on everything that is available to help you get through this crisis and how to access it.


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Sara H. Byrd