PHOENIX (3TV/CBS5) -- Do you miss playing darts? Long for some god karaoke? Some bar games and activities will once again be allowed in Arizona, but you have to follow certain rules.
Karaoke was really the bread and butter at Kobalt Bar in midtown Phoenix. But the COVID-19 pandemic has meant pivoting. “In a way, it's been a good thing because it's kind of weaned us off that karaoke that we had been doing all the time. And now we're kind of event-centric,” said managing partner Jeffery Perales.
On Thursday they held a presidential debate watch party. Perales says karaoke is big in Phoenix. "Every night of the week there's somewhere that's hosting karaoke,” Perales said. “So it's really great to see that the state is finally allowing it. And I'm glad that they're taking it seriously, the health part of it as well.”
Safety is also important to the bar, so it will be following guidelines set by the state. That includes mandatory masks, microphones will be sanitized, disposable mic covers, among other restrictions.
“There will be a plexiglass barrier between the singers and the rest of the audience. The minimum distance they can be to the audience is six feet. Without a barrier, it's 12 feet,” Perales said.
Read more about the guidelines here. Arizona’s Family spoke to a public health expert who says following safety precautions will be crucial. “We know that singing, you know, amplifies the spread because it really gets a lot of those viral particles out there into the air and spreads it out,” said Dr. Shad Marvasti with the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Phoenix.
If you have a chronic health condition or someone at your house does, Dr. Marvasti says you should probably avoid activities like karaoke. He says now is not the time to let up when it comes to COVID-19, and he says it's crucial to follow rules like mask-wearing. Cases are beginning to surge again like they did at the end of May and beginning of June.
“If there's a way they can do it outdoors, that would be even better for public health and safety,” Dr. Marvasti said.
Kobalt is operating at 50% capacity. Perales says they want to attract customers who stick to safety rules. “So the customers who come here, they know what they are in for when they come in,” Perales said. “They know we are going to do our best to adhere to the guidelines.”
Karaoke will begin after 8 p.m. on Sunday at Kobalt.