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Kentucky businesses brace for new COVID-19 restrictions

Published: Nov. 18, 2020 at 10:33 AM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Governor Andy Beshear said he will impose new restrictions after our deadliest day since the pandemic came to Kentucky.

We expect those restrictions to be announced Wednesday, and that could mean local businesses are impacted again.

Local businesses, like Winchell’s in Lexington, were hit-hard back in March when COVID-19 first took hold of Kentucky. Co-owner Grahm Waller tells us he got through that.

Now, with more restrictions believed to be on the way, he says he’s focused on making sure he can change and adapt.

“This is not a time to panic or get anxious. This is a time to focus," Waller said. "When it’s tough times, that’s when you really have to concentrate and really focus, watch every little detail, really pay attention, and do the best you can do.”

Waller says at the time of the first shutdown business was doing well and after a six-week hiatus he reopened this door, but he had to make a number of changes.

He adjusted schedules, adjusted hours and made sure that his business was able to social distance.

“Cut the labor, cut the menu, cut the hours, we did all of it,” Waller said. "I mean, we had a plan that worked, honestly, you know it was pretty precise.”

That’s why he feels that Winchell’s can withstand more restrictions, but there’s something he thinks would be too damaging to the state overall.

"We can’t do another shutdown in mind. You know public safety is first and foremost obviously, but a shutdown is devastating,” Waller said. “They want to do restrictions, they want to tweek our hours a little bit, that’s something that we can work with, but we’re just knocking on wood that there’s no full shutdown.”

Waller says he hopes the governor will look at all industries and not single in on his, saying that the problem needs to be addressed in the community, not in a specific industry.

“You know there is no right or wrong answer with how to deal with a two-year, 24-month, hundred-year pandemic and you know it’s tough, and we kind of learn as we go," Waller said. "We just want to make sure they’re not over-focusing on one industry.”

Waller says he’s not worried about what the governor might say, but he does want to know. He expected about 18-24 months to recover from the pandemic and now he just wants to make sure he has the best plan in place.

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