Eastern Jackson County residents relieved as COVID restrictions relax

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LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. — Now that restrictions have loosened in eastern Jackson Co., people across the metro and business owners are excited to get back to work at a busy pace. The Jackson Co. health Dept. revised its order on COVID-19 restrictions for businesses.

Bars and Restaurants in Jackson Co. may now open at full-capacity and normal business hour. People took notice over the weekend.

“It’s starting to feel a little more like normal,” Drew Johnson said.

“It is definitely been a lot busier,” Aspen Greene said.

Between the beautiful weather and looser restrictions, Greene saw a lot more people pour in Fringe Beerworks Sunday.

“Of course, I’m thrilled because it’s been a really rough year. I’m very thankful for everybody coming out and seeing us,” Green said. “You’ve got to get back in that rhythm of being busy all the time. So, it’s a little bit of a challenge, but I can do it.”

John Totzke tried to support local businesses throughout the pandemic. Now, he looks forward to shorter lines to get inside.

“Now we don’t have to worry if about a place is 20% full for restaurant or out to eat, even eateries that I’ve been to, it’s been like, ‘I’ve got to wait?!’,” Totzke said.

Full capacity is allowed, but only if pods of people are seated six feet apart. Also, masks are still required when people are not eating or drinking.

“I think it will be something that we have to kind of have to get used to, considering all that happened last year, but I think that it’s going to be really great for the businesses and our community and just trying to get back to normal,” Tara Mulloy said.

Nikki Speir even got in her first game of bar bingo since the pandemic started. She came out winner.

“It’s a little bit scary, but exciting,” Nikki Speir said. “We certainly are ready for that sense of community again.”

As for Mulloy, it was a ‘hole in one’ kind of feeling – being at a bar with others watching the Masters Tournament.

“We were just golfing earlier,” Mulloy said. “So, this is a time where it’s like okay we can start to do those things. We’re seeing it on tv and just enjoying it. So, it definitely feels just like another year, and maybe not so much like a COVID year.”

The Jackson Co. Health Dept. said the loosened restrictions exclude Kansas City and Independence.

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