How local restaurants are dealing with the latest COVID surge

·2 min read

It’s seemingly business as usual at restaurants across Metro Atlanta, even with COVID cases surging across the state.

“We never fully did away with the CDC protocols,” said Greg Lipman, owner and chef at Piastra italian restaurant on Marietta Square.

Lipman says he will not require his employees to wear masks for now, but they do face other requirements.

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“You have to report any symptoms,” said Lipman of employees. “If a staff member does end up having a positive test, they have to have five days symptom-free before they come back.”

In northeast Atlanta, management at Char Korean Bar and Grill told me they’re following similar protocols.

And for now, they will not ask their employees to wear masks again.

But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that with the high COVID transmission rates now seen in nearly every Metro Atlanta county, everyone inside a public space should again wear a mask.

“I think everyone should be masking up so the COVID cases are not increasing more,” said Hannah Sigmon, a Marietta resident.

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People out on the Marietta Square Friday told us they still choose to go out, even though the surge in cases concerns them.

“It definitely changes, like instead of just getting up and going to a bunch of different places and everything, it makes you think twice about just going anywhere,” said Braxton Fine, a Marietta resident.

While cases rise, state officials will closely watch the number of COVID hospitalizations – a key metric that could determine whether any mandates are put in place.

The latest surge is a reminder that COVID is here to stay.

“We knew this was not a one-and-done and would go away,” said Lipman.

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