Rialto Theatre’s owner says they continue stern COVID-19 protocols

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The signs are posted everywhere outside and inside the Rialto Theatre in Raleigh.

“Our opinion is, COVID is not like a light switch you turn on a light and it disappears. You want to be safe until way into the future,” said Bill Peebles, owner of the movie theater.

Peebles said since Gov. Roy Cooper lifted COVID-19 restrictions in May, little with COVID-19 protocols has changed at the Rialto.

“I think the only thing that has changed is our mask mandate has gone from required to requested,” he said.

Peebles spoke about what measures are being taken at the theater.

“We social distance. We have every other row roped off. We request masks and depending on what the governor says [Thursday] we may go back to required. All the staff wear PPE. We follow all the COVID protocols,” Peebles said.

That even means sticking to 50 percent compacity inside the theatre, which can hold more than 430 people.

The theater also has disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer in the lobby.

CBS 17 reached out to several businesses who said over the phone that, for now, they are waiting before they react to Gov. Cooper’s news conference Thursday.

CBS 17 also reached out to area grocery stores like Publix, Wegmans, Food Lion and Harris Teeter. All four have loosened face-covering policies for customers.

In an email from Wegmans, a spokesperson wrote, “we will review any new masking guidelines from the CDC and adhere to any local or state mandates that require masks indoors.”

“In terms of whatever the governor says [Thursday], I am hoping it follows what the CDC has said,” said Peebles.

In an email from Publix, a spokesperson wrote, “we are reviewing the updated CDC guidance at this time and will provide updates regarding our policies as appropriate.”

Gov. Cooper and the coronavirus task force are expected to provide updates on Thursday at 3 p.m.

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