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Bear King Brewing Company

After 20 days of having to operate at 50 percent capacity due to regional COVID-19 hospitalization rates, Bear King Brewing Company shift manager Thomas Hodges said the return to 75 percent capacity will bring back the socialization element the restaurant cultivates. Staff photo by Alex Copeland

After 20 days of having to operate at a 50 percent capacity due to regional COVID-19 hospitalization rates, restaurants and other businesses (see below) in Burnet and Llano counties were able to return to 75 percent operating capacity as of Sunday, Jan. 31.

The change comes as hospitalizations for COVID-19 patients in Trauma Service Area (Region O) dropped below the threshold that triggered more stringent restrictions starting Jan. 11.

Elective operative procedures at area hospitals may also resume.

Dave Plante of the Blue Bonnet Cafe in Marble Falls said when he got word Saturday afternoon that they would be able to open up to 75 percent the next day, it was welcome news and a surprise.

“We kind of knew we were going to get knocked back after the first of the year, that’s the way it was going,” Plante said of the recent occupancy restriction. “With everything you heard about Christmas and New Year’s, we knew we were going to have a little bit of a bump in cases, so it was not totally unexpected that we got knocked back to 50 (percent capacity) three weeks ago, but I’m surprised we were able to come out of it as quickly as we did.”

Burnet and Llano counties are part of the 11-county TSA Region O, which also includes Travis and Williamson counties. 

Bear King Brewing Company shift manager Thomas Hodges said this change will help with the social atmosphere the Marble Falls brewery and restaurant tries to cultivate.

“It’s going to be extremely good for us,” Hodges said. “It’s going to bring business back. We’re going to have more open seating, so that’s the biggest thing, but we’ll be able to bring our taproom back open so we can get people more involved with our beer and explain the process to them.

“Opening back up to more capacity is going to help us out a lot, and it’s going to help the community out a lot,” he added.

Businesses are still required to follow health and safety guidelines to prevent the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. 

Texas is divided into 22 hospital regions. Eleven of those regions are still required to remain at reduced business capacity due to COVID-19 hospitalization rates. 

BUSINESSES THAT CAN OPEN AT 75 PERCENT CAPACITY

  • All Employers and Event Organizers
  • Amusement Park Operators
  • Bowling Alleys, Bingo Halls, Simulcasting, Skating Rinks
  • Driving Schools
  • Fine Arts Performance Halls
  • Gyms / Exercise Facilities
  • Manufacturers
  • Media Production
  • Movie Theaters
  • Museums and Libraries
  • Office-Based Employers
  • Parks / Beaches / Bodies of Water
  • Restaurants
  • Retailers
  • Video Game Facilities
  • Waterpark Operators
  • Wedding Reception Venues
  • Wedding Venues
  • Youth Clubs
  • Zoos, Aquariums, Natural Caverns

alex@thepicayune.com

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