AUSTIN (KXAN) — There’s some hope on the horizon for many struggling central Texas businesses.
Sunday is the first full day businesses in the area can increase capacity to 75 percent.
The change comes after a drop in COVID-19 hospitalizations for seven consecutive days.
Businesses like the Metroplex Gym in San Marcos, are excited to have more people inside now. But something that’s going to be on a lot of peoples’ minds, is making sure it stays safe.
Gym members at Metroplex are cleaning weights and surfaces.
The gym is almost back to normal.
“I think it’s going to be great,” Michelle Hagerty, owner of Metroplex said.
Michelle and her husband, Daniel Hagerty, opened their business 10 years ago. Since the pandemic, the couple said they’ve been trying to do all they can to make workouts safe.
“For capacity, I think it’s going to be just fine, because everyone will maintain the social distancing,” Michelle said.
Daniel said they try to be extra mindful, and carefully monitor gym members.
“We do crack down and make sure members are wiping down equipment before and after use,” he said.
Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra said with businesses now allowed to be nearly at full capacity, they should still follow COVID-safety guidelines.
“What I urge is caution from our community,” Becerra said. “We have small businesses open that say masks not required.”
Becerra said he does support Gov. Greg Abbott’s order.
“This is the direction, this is the trajectory,” Becerra said.
The Hagerty’s said they keep doors open for ventilation, and require masks. The couple said they don’t want to have to close their doors ever again, now that they’re back on track.
“We’ve been doing really well, everybody is respectful of each other,” Michelle said.
There are 11 hospital regions in Texas that still have reduced business capacity due to COVID-19 hospitalizations.
Those hospital regions include the Dallas-Fort Worth area, El Paso, San Antonio and Brownsville-Laredo. Each hospital region continues to be hit the hardest with COVID-19 patients, taking up more than 40 percent of hospital beds.