October 20, 2021

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Tucson businesses see holiday weekend boom amid COVID-19 surge

2 min read

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) – The long holiday weekend raked in big bucks for local businesses. But with COVID cases on the rise, some business owners are going back to COVID mitigations they had at the start of the pandemic.

″Of course, it’s very concerning to us. To operate with a very public venue and a very well-known venue, we have to really measure what’s great for business, but what’s also great for the community. It’s a very difficult, day to day decision. We hoping we’re making the right decisions,” Hotel Congress’s David Slutes said.

Hotel Congress has introduced new mitigation strategies because of the COVID surge.

“Inside our club, we have a vaccination only policy. It’s all mask recommended for the rest of the building, but anytime you’re in that little box of a club we ask that you be vaccinated,” he said.

Slutes says, if things continue to get worse, Hotel Congress will consider going back to a full mask mandate for employees and customers.

″This Labor Day weekend has been really great. Historically back in the day, it was one of our slowest weekends ever. It started picking up quite a bit until of course this COVID thing, but now it seems to be busy,” he said.

On historic 4th Ave., the owners of pop-cycle are reintroducing COVID protocols they had eased up on just a couple months ago.

″We’ve always had the capacity, but we did release it again when everyone was getting vaccinated and it was a little bit safer, but now we try to keep capacity ten or under,” owner Libby Tobey said.

In addition to limiting capacity, there’s also a new mask requirement for everyone in the store, vaccinated or not. Tobey says all of her employees are fully vaccinated. Despite the concern over COVID-19, she says she is happy to see business booming again.

On Tuesday, Sept. 7, Pima County is expected to expand their mask guidance. The Pima County Board of Supervisors will meet. On the agenda: a decision to possibly require masks indoors when social distancing is not possible.

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