Businesses feel effects of CDC group gathering recommendations

2 weeks 22 hours 16 minutes ago Monday, March 16 2020 Mar 16, 2020 Monday, March 16, 2020 2:33:00 PM CDT March 16, 2020 in News
By: Janelle Finch, KOMU 8 Reporter
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COLUMBIA -- Recent recommendations from the CDC are limiting the number of people gathering for large events. The CDC says group gatherings of over 50 people should cancel or postpone their events for the next eight weeks. According to the notice, examples of large events include "conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings, and other types of assemblies."

President Trump announced even stricter regulations on group gatherings at a press conference. He recommended no more than 10 people should gather in a group to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

AnnaBelle Events, a Columbia event planning company, is preparing to take her services 100% online. Owner Anne Tegerdine said while this situation was unexpected, it's important to adapt to the circumstances.

"I've been in the business for 10 years now and I have never had a month like this past one," Tegerdine said. "I'm reaching out to clients to let them know that they can still plan an event and we can work through FaceTime or Zoom."

Tegerdine said she has already begun reaching out to venues to see if they can service current clients in late April and May. Working in the event business, she has had one of her slowest years to date. She said she averages about 20 to 40 events a year, but this year she only has had 10 events scheduled. With the new CDC recommendations, she doesn't know if she'll meet her average for 2020.

"Inquiries have fallen and this is peak inquiry season," Tegerdine said. "We haven't had an email come in in the last two weeks."

Wedding dress shops have also seen a decrease in the number of brides coming in to try on dresses.

One worker at Vows Bridal said that dresses are still coming in like normal, but she's seen the number of appointments decrease.

"I think people are taking any excuse to stay inside," Tori Sporleder said.

Sporleder said she thinks Vows will begin operating by appointment only to limit the number of people coming into the store.

The recommendations from the CDC do not apply to "schools, institutions of higher learning or businesses."

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