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Businesses can stay open at 50% despite continued high hospitalization rates in McLennan County

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Posted at 5:42 PM, Dec 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-07 21:49:10-05

WACO, TX — As Trauma Service Area M completes it's second week of hospitalization rates above 15%, some business wonder if more restrictions are on the horizon.

In short, the answer is no.

Last week, restaurants and retail shops had to revert back to 50% due to increased hospitalizations. Although this trend continues in McLennan County, restaurants and other businesses will stay at 50% unless other orders are given by the state.

"We won't take it to another percentage level, 50% is the standard," Kelly Craine with the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District said.

Restaurant owners, like Phillip Dunn of Bubba's 33 in Waco, are relieved to hear this news because if more restrictions were put in place it would effect his staff.

"Here we are in the holiday season and people are just now starting to get back on track, prepare for the holiday provide for their family," Dunn said.

In the beginning of 2020, service staff everywhere were fighting for hours and Dunn would hate to restrict hours.

"It could potentially effect income for these people," Dunn said.

Not only do restrictions effect employees, but it effects organizations who have reached out to Bubba's 33 for fundraisers.

"Those that typically do fundraisers throughout the year maybe have lost opportunity because of Covid-19," Dunn said.

Bubba's 33 is known for its dozens of fundraisers it holds each year which are down from this year because they've had to adapt to how they help the community.

"People can contribute through our gift card fundraisers where they purchase the gift card maybe over the phone or online and we give 10% back to the organization," Dunn said.

Overall, restaurants can stay at 50% capacity and although it's up to the state for tighter restrictions, it's up to us to stop the trend.

"At this point what it means is that everyone has really got to buckle down, and this is a tough time to do because we're busy, we're thinking about Christmas and we're trying to get things done," Criane said.

For an update of current restrictions for Trauma Service M you can check the county website.

If you are an organization or group around Central Texas that is looking to host a fundraiser you can email Marc Shaw at Marc.Shaw@bubbas33.com.