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Ask Us: What are plans for downtown candy shop?

Editor’s note: Ask Us is a weekly feature published online Mondays and in print on Tuesdays. We’ll seek to answer your questions about items or trends in Rowan County. Have a question? Email it to askus@salisburypost.com.

David Post, who owns buildings in the first block of South Main Street in downtown, says plans for a candy store have been scrapped following challenges prompted by COVID-19 and other logistical hurdles.

A reader asked about the status of Post’s plans, which he made public in 2019 after he purchased three buildings. The store was going to be called Swiggle Sweets and sit in a storefront between Sidewalk Deli and the Hotwire retail store.

Post said the process and cost of making the space work was the first hurdle. He said plumbing and electrical costs were high. Post and partners in the project invested about $40,000 into fixtures equipment and engineering plants. Swiggle Sweets also signed a contract with a candy supplier that went bankrupt as a result of COVID-19, he said.

While researching the project, Post said, downtown was not attractive for a new candy store business.

“Our downtown tends to close at 5 (p.m.) and is largely closed on Mondays while the “sweets” business is more family, evening- and weekend-oriented,” Post said. “With close to 20 vacant buildings within one block of the Square, I had a hard time running the numbers and figuring how it could be successful.”

Post said he and partners in the project were exploring other locations when COVID-19 hit.

“Being no spring chicken, suddenly I’d be almost three years older from when this project began and it could open. So, we decided to abandon the effort,” he said.

For several years, downtown Salisbury was home to the Candy Shoppe on Main, owned by the Vick family. The Vicks sold the store in 2019, and the new owner moved to Main Street in China Grove.

How long does COVID-19 vaccine protection last?

A reader asked how long protection provided by approved COVID-19 vaccines will last. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention answers the question in a few sentences.

“We don’t know how long protection lasts for those who are vaccinated,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says on its website. “What we do know is that COVID-19 has caused very serious illness and death for a lot of people. If you get COVID-19, you also risk giving it to loved ones who may get very sick. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is a safer choice.”

The CDC says experts are working to learn more about natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity from COVID-19.

Vaccines, including the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine, have been granted emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration.

“The authorization of this vaccine expands the availability of vaccines, the best medical prevention method for COVID-19, to help us in the fight against this pandemic, which has claimed over half a million lives in the United States,” acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock said in a news release about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Evidence from clinical trials shows the Pfizer vaccine was 95% effective at preventing laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 illness in people without evidence of infection, according to the CDC. A news release last week from Pfizer used data from Israel to state the vaccine was 97% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths. In the real-world data, it was 94% effective at preventing asymptomatic infections. The company said the data was collected when the more transmissible U.K. variant was the dominant strain in Israel.

Citing clinical trials, the CDC says the Moderna vaccine was 94.1% effective at preventing laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 illness in people who received two doses and had no prior evidence of being infected.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccine are the most common administered to Rowan County resident to date.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was 66.3% effective in clinical trials at preventing laboratory-confirmed illness and high efficacy at preventing hospitalization and death in people who did get sick, the CDC says. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are two doses, and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is one dose.

As the virus continues to spread, it has mutated, and existing vaccines may be somewhat less effective against new variants.

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