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Bar owners attempt a road to economic recovery but COVID-19 numbers still at a rise in Sedgwick County

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – It’s been nearly a month since Wichita bars re-opened to the public. Since then, bar and night club owners say they’ve seen a lot more people coming through their doors. They say it’s even busier than the holiday season. Bar and night club owners say they’ve seen more sales within the last three weeks then they would have during a “regular” weekend.

The owners of Heroes, 6 degrees, and Fever Night Life say the sales have gone up, and financially, it’s great. What they are not seeing is social distancing. But they are still taking steps to mark off 6-feet of space. On top of that, they’re making the most of technology while changing up some of their operations to limit close contact with customers.

“So as people are approaching Fever Night Life, we do have the red duct tape on the floor that’s all divided up six feet. Obviously, we do have the temperature camera right here at the door so if somebody’s temperature is too high we obviously deny entry to them for the evening. Whenever you do pay for a drink, we simply swipe your card once and all of your information is saved in the computer. That’s that much less interaction and then at the very end of the night when you tab out you have one more time of interaction between bartender and customer,” said Austin Henry, operations manager at Fever Night Life.

“We serve hookah with brand new hose, so disposable hose just only for you. Let’s say there is a group with only one hookah, we will still serve a brand-new hose with brand new tips,” said Adam Alkasasy, owner of Heroes and 6 degrees.

County manager Tom Stolz says businesses like bars and night clubs were able to open because officials wanted to start on the road to economic recovery, but now, it’s up to individuals to do what they can to keep the coronavirus at bay.

“We hope that people step up and do their part because we want to keep businesses open, we want to have our economy recover, we want to send our kids to school, we want to do all these things, but we have to earn our way there through personal responsibility, and I guess time will tell over the next couple of months,” said Tom Stolz, Sedgwick County Manager.

Stolz says that until a vaccine comes along or herd immunity develops, behaviors like social distancing and wearing a mask are some of the only lines of defense we have control over.

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