Along with so many other businesses, North Carolina bowling alleys have been closed since March. In the first phase of North Carolina reopening, retail businesses were allowed to open and then during phase two restaurants started to reopen. Right now we are waiting for phase 3 which would allow gyms to reopen but an NC judge ruled this week that North Carolina bowling alleys can reopen.
Judge James Gale granted a preliminary injunction that would apply to the 75 North Carolina bowling establishments within a three-state industry association. Lawyers for the state immediately asked Gale to delay the effective date of his decision while they appeal to Gov. Cooper’s behalf.
Gov. Cooper has won in court numerous times during the pandemic against lawsuits filed by other business groups seeking similar re-openings. The ruling says that the bowling alleys must limit the number of patrons allowed inside, patrons and employees must wear masks, at least one empty lane must be maintained between each group and patrons other than immediate family members cannot share a bowling ball.
Some other guidelines include:
- All bowling balls shall be removed from the lane concourse area after usage
- When allowing a patron to choose a bowling ball for use, once touched by a patron, the ball shall be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized before being allowed to be touched by another patron
- All unnecessary touchpoints throughout the concourse shall be eliminated, and those that cannot be eliminated, included seating areas, will be wiped between use by groups and thoroughly cleaned and sanitized each twenty-four-hour period
- Hand sanitizer stations shall be made available throughout each establishment
- Any employee shall have access to at least two safety classes which teach how to safely work and provide a safe environment for patrons
- Social distancing throughout the venue shall be encouraged and enforced
- All employees must answer a health questionnaire and have their temperature taken daily prior to working. Any employee showing symptoms or with a fever shall not be allowed to enter the establishment
- Adequate precautions shall be taken to guard against the presence of any employee or patron known or reasonably believed either to be exhibiting symptoms of infection with the COVID-19 virus or to have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus within the preceding 14 days
Gov. Cooper argues that based on the advice of scientific and medical advisors, allowing entertainment and fitness facilities to reopen during this time during the pandemic presents an immediate danger to public health and undermines the “dimmer switch” approach to the reopening that is currently in place in North Carolina.
What do you think? Do you think bowling alleys should reopen? If they do reopen, would you feel safe going to one? Feel free to tweet us your opinions! @theMRLshow