North Alabama businesses weigh in amended state order

North Alabama businesses weigh in amended state order

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Gov. Kay Ivey amended the state’s “safer at home" order Thursday afternoon.

Here are some of the big changes. Entertainment venues like theaters, bowling alleys and museums can open at 50 percent capacity. Athletic activities like practice and games can begin Saturday but without direct competition. Educational institutions can open June 1 with social distancing left up to school leaders.

There is no longer a limit on the number of children at child care facilities.

And summer camp can begin.

Social distancing and sanitation guidelines still need to be followed.

There are a lot of questions on the minds of business owners. Is 5 p.m. Friday too soon? Are they ready, and what will it look like?

The Camp in Huntsville at MidCity is ready. While music entertainment may look different, the food and drinks will be the same when they reopen sometime late next week.

Museums face a tougher challenge, especially the Cook Museum and Helen Keller Museum because they’re so interactive.

Only 50 people were allowed inside Cook Museum every 15 minutes before so that’s not an issue. However, they still may not get cooking over there for another two weeks.

Over in Tuscumbia at the Helen Keller Museum, they plan to open Saturday morning.

“Without our visitors, we don’t make any money,” said Sue Pilkilton of the Helen Keller Museum.

Just like the Cook museum, there will be sanitizer on hand, everyone will wear masks and practice social distancing.

So, what if you’re not feeling a museum? How about bowling?

Frank’s Thunder Alley in Boaz will reopen right at 5 p.m. Friday. Only 12 of the 24 lanes will be open with a limit of six bowlers per lane.

“I think it’s going to start off slow and gradually get to that point where it’s busy again,” said Frank Caracci of Frank’s Thunder Alley.

No matter where you go, things will be different and you will be spread apart, but dying businesses are grateful to be connected to you again.

Some of those businesses we highlighted say timing could not be better. The Helen Keller Museum is tallying $200,000 in losses. Frank’s Thunder Alley says he likely would not have made it through June.

Now, they are breathing a sigh of relief.

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