Businesses adjusting ahead of New Year's Eve gatherings

Posted at 8:34 PM, Dec 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-28 20:44:25-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — It’s almost time to ring in the new year with people preparing to celebrate in places like bars and restaurants.

This time last year, large gatherings and partying was ill-advised.

This year, establishments are dealing with concerns over the omicron variant.

The month of December leading up to New Year's Eve celebrations makes for one of the most profitable time frames for bars and restaurants, says Bob Roberts. He's the president of the Corktown Business Association and owner of McShane’s Irish Pub.

Roberts says local businesses are self-regulating when it come to COVID-19, given there’s no local or state mandates. That's unlike New Year's Eve 2020.

Five months ago, Roberts' business bought several HEPA filtration systems to purify and circulate the air. He said the machines are designed to make gathering indoors for extended periods of time safer for customers and employees.

“We’re able to exchanging our air the required six times per hour by the CDC," Roberts explained.

Other establishments like Green Dot Stables closed during part of this holiday season "out of an abundance of caution." According to its Facebook page, the establishment reopened Tuesday.

Roberts says Bobcat Bonnies re-established social distancing and adjusted their hours. Businesses, in general, are adjusting and trying 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 also that have some of their staff out with COVID," he explained.

Dr. Asha Shajahan with Beaumont Health says if you’re going to be bringing in the new year in a group setting, follow the recommended Centers for Disease Control and Prevention precautions, including masking indoors.

Roberts says January and February are typically challenging months for bars for a number of reasons. So it’s potentially a matter of going from one struggle to the next. But he hopes a little redemption may come St. Patrick’s Day.

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