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Restaurants close, increase protocol to adapt to COVID-19 surge

One Webster Groves drive-in restaurant has seen 30% more curbside orders in recent weeks.

ST. LOUIS — The recent COVID-19 surge has caused some businesses in St. Louis to ramp up their safety protocols while others have shut down to help slow the spread.

On Saturday, Frank Romano and his staff at the Parkmoor Drive-In in Webster Groves could be seen wearing masks as well as some of the guests at tables.

“It’s a serious matter and we want everybody to be safe. We’re following all the protocols here. Keeping it clean. And doing our best,” the general manager said.

The restaurant opened in the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 when you could only dine outdoors.

As cases fluctuated, they switched to patio and curbside service until they got a little relief in Summer 2021.

“It felt safer. People weren’t getting as sick and we were allowed to use the inside of the restaurants,” Romano said.

With the virus mixing up operations again and new variants at play, the restaurant has seen a 30% increase in to-go orders.

Other restaurants in St. Louis bracing for the battle.

Morgan Street Brewery downtown has closed until further notice.

Signage on the door reads “we’ve made the extremely difficult decision to close due to the continuing pandemic. If life gets back to normal, we hope to see you again.”

Planter’s House also halted operations until the end of January for some “rest and recuperation” according to their website, after ending their holiday season early due to cases.

For those restaurants remaining open like Parkmoor with no cases inside, it is masking, distancing, and deep cleaning.

 “Constant washing of hands, disinfecting, wearing gloves,” Romano continued.

Like so many others with a business in this ever-changing climate, the eatery asked everyone who is feeling ill to stay home.

The St. Louis City Department of Health has urged businesses to reduce workforce indoors as much as possible. 

The agency has also asked businesses to work with H-VAC experts to improve air quality in the building.

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