What will businesses opening at 50% capacity look like?

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INDIANAPOLIS – Depending on where you live in the state, restaurants and stores are opening at 50% capacity now or in the coming weeks.

“It’s new territory for all of us,” said Gina Rosenow, the owner of A2Z Cafe in Indianapolis. “I actually don’t know what to expect.”

Rosenow also isn’t sure when her restaurant will open in-person seating again. 

“Either the 11th, the 15th or the 22nd,” she explained.

A2Z is right on the county line of Marion and Hamilton, so she’s waiting for clarity from the government.

Meanwhile, Rosenow is working up a plan to operate at 50%. For her, that means limiting customers to 40 people. 

“We’re just going to have to count heads,” said Rosenow. “And if people stay and linger over their meals, we would never want to kick anybody out, we would never do that. But maybe people would just on their own, ‘Hey, we’ve been here an hour. It’s time for us to move on,’ and then we can have that seat open.”

Brian Kelley owns The Shop in two different locations in Indiana. He plans to open the Clay Terrace location May 9 and Broad Ripple on May 11. 

“We’re limiting it to 12 customers at a time just to be safe,” said Kelley. “We are going to provide our employees with masks.”

He said he doesn’t anticipate any issues. 

“Just be able to monitor the door, asking some to step outside until somebody else comes out, that sort of thing,” said Kelley.

IU Health Infection Prevention Director Kristen Kelley said you can touch items in stores, but be mindful. 

“When the virus lands, it can of course stay on a surface up to three hours, and in some cases, up to days,” said Kristen.

That’s why not touching your face, washing your hands frequently and carrying hand sanitizer is recommended.

“Continue to keep a social distance from others, so I like how restaurants are doing 50% of capacity to try to keep a limit of at least six feet from other people,” added Kristen.

She also sent out a full list of her tips for leaving the house after quarantine:

  • Don’t overdo the social events; pick a small circle of family and friends to begin to come around again. Keep your social circle small for now.
  • Screen your family and friends before gatherings. If symptomatic, do not come around those folks. Encourage folks with symptoms to see their doctor and get tested.
  • Continue to keep a social distance from others; avoid overcrowded locations. It just takes one sick person in a crowd to spread this illness
  • Minimize your risk — smaller social network, good hand hygiene, face masks when out, frequent cleaning; avoid large crowds
  • Balance risks and be flexible. We may go through a few seasons of going on and off social distancing. Prepare mentally for this.
  • Continue to check in with our friends and neighbors. Be patient with others as we are all coping with this new norm.

You don’t have to support these businesses by going to them in person. Carry out is still an option and so are online shopping orders. 

“We’ve been doing free shipping for almost two months now, and that will continue until there are no restrictions and we are fully open,” said Brian.

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