Tens of thousands of suburban residents are facing new coronavirus restrictions, and word of the new rules has business owners worried and customers wondering what will come next in the fight to stop the spread of the virus.
Tier 2 mitigation restrictions will be put into place on Wednesday in Kane, DuPage, Will and Kankakee counties under new guidance published by Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration.
The new rules will restrict gatherings to groups of 10 in the affected counties, and groups of outdoor diners will be limited to six or fewer.
Other businesses will be impacted too, including Two Bostons Pet Shop in Naperville.
“Everyone’s wearing face masks, and we are constantly cleaning and disinfecting,” owner Todd Tietz said. “So you can feel safe when you come in and shop, and even if you don’t, you can find us online. We can do curbside pickup or delivery. We got it.”
Kaylin Risvold, President and CEO of the Naperville Chamber of Commerce, says that the pandemic is hitting virtually every business in the area hard.
“Honestly it’s all a gut punch,” Risvold said. “Retailers, restaurants, hospitals. This is hard on all of us.”
Risvold says it’s more important than ever to support local businesses.
“You’re not just supporting your employees who work there,” Risvold said. “We live in an ecosystem where we are supporting each other. Think intentionally when you’re spending your money.”
Anderson’s Book Store has survived a lot in its 145 years, and it’s hoping to do the same amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“It took a while to get there, but we found our rhythm,” Kris Nugent said. “We just try to react to it every day.”
If the tighter restrictions don’t bring down positivity rates, several options are on the table, according to Pritzker. A return to Phase Three of the state’s reopening plan is a possibility. Modifications to in-store shopping are also possible as the state continues to cope with surging cases and positivity rates.