COLUMBUS (WCMH) – With COVID-19 case numbers as high as they are, some aspects of early in the pandemic are making a comeback.
Businesses are once again taking precautions, hoping to avoid a shutdown like what happened in the spring of 2020.
It’s been less than a week since a mask advisory was announced in Columbus, and more businesses are posting signage stating masks are required in order to enter.
Business owners said it feels like the safe thing to do.
With COVID-19 case numbers reaching levels not seen since early February, small business owners are taking notice.
“To be honest, it feels really surreal,” said Faith Pierce, co-owner of Yellow Brick Pizza.
Pierce said she keeps a close eye on the restaurant and the state’s coronavirus data. Due to rising cases and recommendations from health leaders, the pizza place and bar announce Wednesday that it is once again requiring masks for everyone.
“I have children under 12, a number of my staff members have children under 12, so I feel like, right now, we need to protect them and we need to protect the people that can’t get vaccinated,” she said.
Masks are also once again required for everyone at the gluten-free bakery, Bake Me Happy.
“Just wanting to, as much as we can, make the safest decision for our staff and our customers,” said Bake Me Happy co-founder Letha Pugh.
The shop just recently stopped requiring masks for employees. She said bringing the masks back is disheartening, but she’s worried about people’s health and businesses taking a hit again.
“For small business owners, we’re scared to death,” Pugh said.
After things seemed to be going in the right direction earlier this summer, Pugh said it’s frustrating to be taking steps back.
“We did not want it to go in this direction, but we felt like it was the safest and best choice to make at this time,” she said.
Both businesses said they are not sure how long they will keep their mask requirements in place.