Philly COVID: Chief Jose Garces among those making tough decisions amid rising coronavirus cases

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PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) – Restaurant owners across the region are making tough decisions as cases of COVID-19 continue to rise.

Some are closing or limiting hours due to staff issues. Others close their doors for a few weeks to be proactive.

Either way, it’s a bad patch for an already struggling industry.

“What’s difficult is that this week, especially on New Years, is a very festive time. And it’s usually one of our best weeks of the year in the industry. let’s make a lot of our change. So having this good shot now, you know, is definitely no coincidence, ”said iron chef Jose Garces, who owns a number of restaurants in the area.

In places like Amada and the Olde Bar, Garces says he’s cutting back the days it’s open from 5 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Chez Distrito in West Philadelphia and Hook and Master – his new pizzeria in Fishtown – Garces is going for take out and delivery until January 12.

The idea is to keep everyone safe, limit any potential for spread, and keep customer trust high until we get to the other side of the matter.

Another change business is Jerry’s Bar in Northern Liberties. They are now closed until January 4 due to the increase in Covid cases.

One restaurant that remains open for the moment is Cuba Libre in the old town.

SEE ALSO: CDC removes isolation restrictions for those who catch COVID, recommends shorter quarantine for all

Assistant General Manager Aaron Bowners says they’re doing what they think is best for their employees and their community.

“We try to be as proactive as possible to stay open as long as possible. Unless a major disaster strikes, we plan to stay open,” Bowers said.

He says they’ve also made several adjustments to keep their surroundings as safe as they know it to be.

“Our disinfection and disinfection procedures are one of our highest priorities. Plus our air filtration system, we have completely changed that,” said Bowers.

As of January 3, 2022, any establishment in Philadelphia that sells food and / or beverages for consumption on-site will only be able to admit customers who have completed their series of vaccines.

After January 17, negative COVID-19 tests can no longer be accepted in lieu of proof of vaccination.

SEE ALSO: Philly doctor says omicron variant “is spreading like wildfire”

New Jersey is hardest hit, with an average of more than 14,000 cases per day, according to the latest CDC data collected by Action News’ data journalism team. This is a huge 220% increase from two weeks ago.

Delaware sees more than a thousand new cases a day, up 67% from two weeks ago.

And Pennsylvania has 9,175 new cases every day. This is 10% more than the previous two weeks.

In the past two weeks, 15.9% of COVID-19 tests in Philadelphia have come back positive. The city has recorded an average of 1,462 cases of COVID per day over the past two weeks.

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