[keet health app]Food workers celebrate phase 1C of vaccinations

2021-10-12

  LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A new group of nearly 500,000 Arkansans can now sign up for the COVID vaccine. Those in phase 1C are now eligible to get the shot following the Governor’s latest decision to move ahead with vaccinations.

  Included in this group are restaurant workers, including servers and bartenders. For them, the update couldn’t come soon enough now that restaurants can open to full capacity and the early bar curfew is over.

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  Those at popular local restaurant “Petit and Keet” know this firsthand – their dinner rush is always busy, but even with a packed house, staff members can breathe a bit easier knowing they’re one step closer to being vaccinated. For bartender Taylor Hart, the move was a bit delayed.

  “I thought it should have come sooner for the service industry,” he said. The head bartender at Petit and Keet knows how devastating the virus can be: his COVID spell put him out of work for weeks. “It was the worst 15 days I’ve had in about 20 years,” Hart said.

  So when the Governor announced food workers can get vaccinated, Hart didn’t hesitate to sign up.

  And he wasn’t alone – restaurant owner Jake Keet and his team jumped on the chance, making appointments for 150 members of his staff to get the shot.

  He says this was a long time coming. “We were overjoyed,” he said. “They’ve worked tirelessly the entire pandemic as essential workers.”

  Across town, those at Cannibal and Craft are also relived by the news. “We’re all eager to get vaccinated,” said Alexis Gray, assistant manager for the bar.

  Servers and bartenders spend hours a day near customers eating and drinking maskless, a concern for the essential workers working closely with the public.

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  “We were in front of a bunch of different people,” Gray said. “We didn’t know what they were doing, where they were coming from if they had COVID or not.”

  Servers at both restaurants are ready for that extra layer of protection only a vaccine can provide. While Hart and Gray pour up the classics while waiting for the shot, they encourage everyone in 1C to book their appointments and get protected.

  “Probably the best decision is to get it,” Hart said.

  Others included in phase 1C are those 16 and up with high-risk health conditions, other essential workers, and those living in high-risk settings like group homes and college dorms.

  For a full list of those eligible, check out the ADH’s website HERE.

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