No St. Patrick’s Day celebrations at many Northern Virginia establishments amid coronavirus concerns
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (FOX 5 DC) - What would have been a night of celebration for St. Patrick’s Day, turned out to be just the opposite on Tuesday.
This comes after Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and D.C Mayor Muriel Bowser both announced sweeping new measures to combat the spread of coronavirus Monday. Among those include closing down businesses such as bars and restaurants and banning large gatherings.
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Restaurants and bars in D.C. and Maryland can only offer carryout, delivery and drive-thru service. All of the District’s nightclubs are closed.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam ordered to limit gatherings to no more than ten people, Tuesday.
“There’s nobody walking up and down the streets,” said Kate Desch of Irish Walk on King Street in Alexandria. “To get one or even two people into the store, that’s a lot.
Just today alone we probably lost I’d say like $3,000 to $5,000 worth of sales.”
“It’s hard to comprehend,” said Kenny Mitchell, general manager of Murphy’s Grand Irish Pub. “We’ve got all of our guests, customers and staff that come in and look forward to this all year long. It’s the biggest celebration of the year.”
Mitchell said, the restaurant would have been packed with revelers celebrating the holiday but he had to tell his customers that he couldn’t let them all in at the same time.
“We would have had a line probably down the block around the corner,” said Mitchell, “unfortunately that line we did have was only because we could only do, one in, one out.”
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Not only were area businesses worried about staying afloat but also about how they need to figure out taking care of their employees.
“Oh we will be over-tipping tonight,“ said one patron.
With a potential for many workers getting laid off, Northam said Tuesday he has directed the commissioner of the Virginia Employment Commission to waive the one-week waiting period for people to receive unemployment benefits. Also, the normal requirement that those receiving unemployment benefits must conduct two job searches a week is being waived.