Some restaurants stick to COVID-19 protocols to avoid another shutdown as cases rise



JACKSON, Mississippi (WLBT) – As COVID-19 cases statewide continue to rise, some restaurants are keeping certain protocols in place to avoid another shutdown.

The owner of Mexican restaurant El Portrillo in Flowood said once the Delta variant kicked in, they started to be more careful again.

Before entering El Portrillo, guests must pass a sign that encourages them to hide before entering.

Zaki Rezaie has been working as a waiter at the restaurant for two years. With the increase in cases statewide, he said another shutdown is a legitimate concern.

“We do our best to keep it clean, to disinfect everything, but there is so much you can do,” Rezaie said.

Some diners said on Saturday they supported the restaurant’s precautions.

“If science says it helps to have a mask, then I think people should do it and respect that,” said client Carolyn Bradley.

A teacher in Vicksburg, Bradley said her fear of the virus stemmed from what she saw inside the classroom.

“This wave of the Delta variant, we have seen a lot more students affected by positive cases,” Bradley said. “Not just quarantined because of the exposure, but they’re positive themselves, which is pretty scary.”

Bradley went out to eat with his friend, Holly Knight, who is a developer.

With economic development being such a big part of Knight’s business, she said she supports all protocols to keep businesses open.

“There is another hike right now. And so maybe people need to be more alert, ”Knight said. “But again, we have to pursue the economy; we can no longer fail.

With a vaccine readily available, Knight said people just have to make a choice.

“Once you make that choice, you take a risk by going out and not getting the shot,” she said. “But don’t close the restaurants. Don’t shut down the economy. There is now something planned to help people, and you can choose or not choose. If you don’t choose, don’t go out.

Rezaie said that if people don’t care about their own health, he hopes they will at least take the health of others into account when choosing whether or not to follow restaurant protocols.

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