Local Restaurants React To Possible Restrictions To Indoor Dining

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – In its latest weekly report, the White House COVID-19 Task Force recommends that Tennessee limit restaurant indoor capacity to less than fifty percent, as well as restrict hours until cases and the positivity rates of new tests begin to decrease.

This comes as Hamilton County continues to see unprecedented surges in Covid cases and hospitalizations, with increased talk from local officials about implementing stricter guidelines.

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Some local business owners worry any further restrictions without financial assistance could spell the end for their livelihoods.

However – Lou Tharp, General Manager of Chattanooga’s Public House, says the restaurant is prepared to do whatever it takes to stop the spread.

“This is the environment where cases are going up and we’ve gotta make those changes too. And we’re on board with making them. I don’t know to what extent we can decrease and still maintain our existence as a restaurant but we’re gonna do what it takes,” says Lou Tharp.

Caroline Coppock, Store Manager of The Local, agrees with this view – saying that safety for customers was always a top priority.

“We’ve already kept below fifty percent and just completely shut off our lobby to dine in. We did that you know for safety and we plan to do that through the end of the year until we best saw fit. So we’ll continue to do that. I’m sure it does hurt business some but from our perspective we value safety first,” says Caroline Coppock.

Restaurants like Public House say they’ve been doing what they can to get by during the pandemic, but have made it clear that they’re more than willing to abide by CDC guidelines – even if those restrictions were to tighten in the future.