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Businesses in Luzerne County concerned spike in COVID could impact operations

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LUZERNE COUNTY (WRBE/WYOU) — As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise across our region, many business owners are keeping a close eye on the numbers and asking what kind of impact it will have on their operations.

Gyms and recreational-based businesses were hard hit by COVID-19 restrictions. They were closed down for much of the year. But the owner of 10X Fitness in Mountain Top told Eyewitness News, he’s watching and waiting, once again.

“Always concerned about how they’re going to affect us,” 10X Fitness owner Daniel Cronauer said.

Cronauer owns the 10X Fitness Centers in Mountain Top in Luzerne County and Taylor in Lackawanna County. The rise in COVID cases comes as he is entering the usually busy holiday season.

“New members signed up. We are getting into our busy season and people are still afraid to come to the gym,” said Cronauer. “We’ve been taking the same precautions for the last year and a half, making sure everything is clear. Doing what we can our best part to keep everybody safe.”

Cronauer says his client numbers continue to rebound, as compared to a year ago.

“Yeah, we definitely see more people come back with flu season also. People do start to work out. More activity in wintertime, can’t go outside to do a lot of stuff,” Cronauer said.

Joe Hurn comes to this gym quite a bit and says he too is watching the COVID numbers but is not overly concerned.

“Just kind of doing my thing, not changing my life too much. Just still have to hit the gym, it is kind of something we have to deal with,” Hurn said.

“Massive concern. Is there going to be another shutdown?” questioned Franco’s Restaurant owner Rosa Bellia.

Rosa Bellia owns Franco’s Restaurant in Wilkes-Barre. She says the rise in COVID cases is not going unnoticed by her and other restaurant owners she knows.

“What is this going to do? How is it going to affect my staff, myself? Are people going to be afraid to come out to eat, patronize restaurants with fear of getting COVID? Even though you’re vaccinated there’s no guarantee,” Bellia said.

Bellia says they are finally emerging from the COVID restrictions from last year.

“We are doing much better. I do have to say up until the new variant we were doing very well. People were still coming out, they were happy, they were enjoying each other, but with the new variant, we’ll have to see,” Bellia explained.

Business owners also told Eyewitness News, they are happy that voters passed a constitutional amendment that limits the amount of time the governor can implement emergency declaration orders such as shutdown mandates.

21 days is now the maximum time and then he has to get approval from the state legislature if he wants to extend that order.

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