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Impacts of COVID-19 cause local closures, some permanently

Published: Jun. 27, 2020 at 6:00 AM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - The impacts of COVID-19 are hitting some local businesses harder than others.

Some are closing temporarily, others are closing permanently...and then there's businesses choosing to stay open, even after an employee tests positive for the virus.

For some business owners, the decision to reopen or remain open amid the pandemic is up to them, however, others don't have a choice.

"When we were shutdown in March, we still had high hopes to open back up to the community," said Shelly Rogers-Sharer, Owner of Jump-N-Place in Woodway. "However, it didn't seem feasible at this time to remain open or to open back up."

For 12 years, Jump-N-Place has been a source of family fun for the community, hosting hundreds of birthday parties over the years and constantly making “favorites” lists for locals.

Sharer has been its owner for the last four years, however, Jump-N-Place is now out-of-business and up for sale.

"We were trying to sell the business over the last year for personal reasons, however, looking at requirements from the state and thinking about how to make it work...it's just unimaginable," said Sharer. "I have a hard time getting the kids to keep their socks on, which is one of our requirements, I don't know how i'd possibly be able to keep them in masks and stay six feet away from each other."

Trouble is also on the horizon for larger child entertainment chains: Chuck E. Cheese filed for bankruptcy this week, however, the Waco location remains open for now.

Other Waco-area businesses have closed temporarily after employees became infected with the virus.

A kitchen worker at P.F. Chang's is the reason its doors are currently closed, according to a source with direct knowledge of the situation, and the Walgreen's store in Woodway had reopened Friday after it was shutdown for at least one day earlier in the week after an employee there came down with the virus.

However, some businesses, like the Shipley Do-Nuts location on S. Valley Mills Dr., aren't allowing the virus to interrupt service.

The store never closed and was still open Friday after one of its workers tested positive for COVID-19, instead posting a warning on the window for customers saying the entire store had been sanitized and additional safeguards including daily temperature checks, health screenings, frequent hand washing, mask wearing, and enhanced cleaning measures were being taken.

"We have been notified that one of our employees has tested positive for COVID-19," the statement read. "The employee will not return to work until they have met the guidelines established by the CDC."

Ninfa's Mexican Restaurant closed-up shop for a day this week to allow employees to do a deep cleaning, according to a post on the door and social media.

Sharer says she wisher her business could have toughed it out, but sometimes the circumstances are too tough.

“We are so grateful for the support, the love that we’ve been shown over the last four years and in particular as we’ve had to make this difficult choice, we’ve heard so many memories shared with us, and those are what we’re going to take with us and hold in our hearts, and we hope you will do the same,” said Sharer. “Thank you very much Waco.”

Copyright 2020 KWTX. All rights reserved.

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