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Waco: Local restaurant owner excited about eased restrictions

Closures aimed at stemming the spread of COVID-19 in the spring threw the owners of Waco’s Tru...
Closures aimed at stemming the spread of COVID-19 in the spring threw the owners of Waco’s Tru Jamaica restaurant for a loop, co-owner Vivia Charles said.(Hannah Hall)
Published: Sep. 22, 2020 at 1:14 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) – Closures aimed at stemming the spread of COVID-19 in the spring threw the owners of Waco’s Tru Jamaica restaurant for a loop, co-owner Vivia Charles said.

In response the owners expanded online services and offered curbside pickup.

A phased easing of restrictions allowed them to reopen their dining room and on Monday they’re able to operate at 75% capacity under new guidelines that Gov. Greg Abbott announced last week predicated on the number of COVID-hospitalizations in each of the state’s Trauma Service Areas.

If COVID-19 hospitalizations amount to less than 15% of all hospitalizations, restaurants are permitted to expand capacity.

That applies to all Central Texas counties.

Charles, who owns Tru Jamaica with her son Aniceto, said they’re excited to be able to bring in more customers.

“The excitement is because, businesses, especially restaurants, it really helps when we can invite more guests in,” Charles said.

However, Charles said there was a little bit of trepidation, because they wanted to make sure they were doing the right thing to keep the customers and employees safe.

Charles said they would continue to follow all U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and protocol.

“Washing of hands, more and more diligently face masks, and just making sure we still do some of the distancing with our patrons, and just really try and adhere to the CDC rules and guidelines,” Charles said.

Businesses were limited to 50 percent capacity for about three months after a spike in cases in June.

Charles said they really noticed a difference at the restaurant when scaled down capacity happened, but said they were able to get by with community support.

The extended restaurant capacity does not allow bars to re-open, which has upset several local bar owners.

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