Livingston Parish stuck in Phase 2 of reopening
DENHAM SPRINGS - While most parishes near the capital region have slowly re-opened to Phase 3, Livingston Parish is still stuck in Phase 2.
"It is definitely taking a toll on the business," Rayan Shaffer said.
Shaffer is one of the key employees at Big Mike's Sports Bar and Grill in Denham Springs.
It's a popular eatery and watering hole for locals, but their banquet room, that's normally booked two or three weeks in advance, is barely being rented now that COVID -19 restrictions are in place.
"Since all those restrictions are limiting the number of people and having people to social distance, a lot of folks just aren't scheduling as many parties", Shaffer said.
With the COVID-19 rate above 9%, bars are not open and the high school stadiums are still at 25% capacity cap, while games in surrounding parishes have increased to 50%.
Operators at Big Mike's say they are able to stay in business during the pandemic, because of their loyal customers.
"We're surviving as a restaurant because of the community that we serve and have been serving for just over a decade now," Shaffer said.
But Shaffer is concerned about what might happen if the pandemic and restrictions last much longer than expected.
"If this continues for an excessive amount of time, it will definitely have a negative effect on
the business itself. There will definitely be a backlash," Shaffer said.
According to the governor's emergency order, the COVID-19 positivity rate in Livingston Parish must be at 5% or below for two consecutive weeks, for restrictions to be relaxed.
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