Delta variant could be speed bump in local businesses’ COVID progression

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Michael Patrick, who owns Rizzo’s, knows the pandemic isn’t over.

“We’re still aware and we’re still trying to do our best to do our part,” Patrick said.

TRENDING: Increase of COVID cases taking a toll on Mid-South hospitals

He’s also aware that the Delta variant could be a speed bump to the progress that’s been made for local businesses.

“Until we either get a better vaccine or a better grip on how this thing spreads and what it spreads to, we’re gonna always have COVID as a topic,” he said. “Being a business owner, we might have to close again.”

Despite being able to operate at full capacity, Patrick said they’re operating at half.

He said they try to distance tables as much as possible and employees will continue to wear masks until he feels it’s safe to remove them.

TRENDING: Mom runs over son with car, police say

“I’ve told the staff that if they all get vaccinated, we’ll come out of our masks,” he said. “Currently I’ve got about five staff members who are, including myself. But we don’t know people’s status is when they come in to eat.”

Such are the unknowns of operating a business in a pandemic.

Patrick said the reality is that business owners have to think about closing down or limiting customers again.

“We get back on that three, four hundred range again, I would go back to 25 percent for a moment or for whatever time that it seems like the spike is happening,” he said.