KITCHENER -- Spring is here which means it’s time to consider getting those winter tires taken off, but concerns about COVID-19 have kept some people away from repair shops.

Auto shops are normally filled with vehicles this time of year in the rush to put on the summer tires and get rid of the winter ones.

Fowler Tire and Automotive Center in Kitchener is still helping drivers make the switch but with the realities of the ongoing outbreak in mind.

“We called yesterday and today it was just a few minutes inside. There was a sneeze guard up there and we transacted everything at once so the risk of exposure was so minimal,” said customer Emily Clutton.

The shop has a number of precautions in place to protect its staff and customers, including booking services by appointment-only.

“It’s not that we’re gonna send somebody in need away, but we do ask them to call us, getting them in one by one. Just we cannot have that mad rush,” said Chris Tsegas, owner of Fowler Tire and Automotive Center.

The shop is also asking customers to sanitize high touch points first before bringing their car into the shop.

“Wipe down the steering wheel, wipe down the door handles, inside and outside, keys as well, and turn the fan off so it’s not blowing around” explained Tsegas.

Workers will sanitize again prior to returning the car to the customer.

“She walked me through the safety precautions they were taking so I felt good about things,” said customer Doug Robertson.

Only two people are allowed in the showroom at all times. The team here is encouraging customers waiting for their vehicle to take a walk outside.

“That’s why I called today, I knew it would be sunny and I didn’t want to sit in the room,” said Robertson.

With fewer appointments, the crew at Fowler Tire is able to get the job done faster and hopefully ease any backlog down the road.