Area businesses make plans to reopen
Phase two of Minnesota’s Stay Safe Plan, enacted by Governor Tim Walz, is scheduled to begin on June 1. That means a number of businesses that were deemed non-essential in mid-March may have a crack at reopening and returning to work and activities the area enjoys.
Minnesota has made good progress on slowing the spread of COVID-19, and as the state continues the process of reopening the economy, Gov. Walz urges that residents continue social distancing practices to save lives and stay safe.
During all phases of the COVID-19 preparedness plan, Minnesota’s businesses and citizens are strongly recommended to wear facial coverings, to always stay six feet away, telework if you can, and all non-critical sector businesses are required to have adopted and implemented a COVID-19 preparedness plan.
Beginning June 1, non-critical businesses (or businesses where you are not face-to-face with customers) must telework if they can, and must have a COVID-19 preparedness plan in place.
CCF?Bank in Blue Earth and First Bank Blue Earth will continue to keep their lobbies closed and use their drive-thru for regular business. Patrons may also call ahead to make appointments with a loan officer.
Local libraries are different across the county. Wells Public Library will still be offering services at a limited capacity such as curbside and drop-off services, while Kiester’s library is open to the public with social distancing measures in place. Elmore’s library is working on a similar process and hopes to be open June 1. Muir Library in Winnebago will be opening June 1, and they are asking patrons to limit their time to less than 30 minutes for book browsing. There will also be take-and-make bags as well as take home Bingo available for kids every week. Masks are not required, but use of hand sanitizer is. Blue Earth’s library hopes to open for a few hours every day in the near future. Be sure to keep an eye on your library’s web page for updates.
Blue Earth Family Dental staff say they have sent letters to current patients on their process of rescheduling appointments. They will be working on addressing their more urgent patients first, and then will work on rescheduling routine appointments as they continue with the Stay Safe guidelines.
Dr. Roger Grandgenett’s office say this is their third week of being open. Patients are asked to call ahead for appointments where they will receive information on how to prepare for their appointment.
Retail businesses can open at 50 percent capacity and must have a COVID-19 preparedness plan in place.
Restaurants and bars are able to offer outdoor dining with a six-foot distance between customers that must be maintained.
Double Play in Blue Earth says they will continue offering carry-out orders, but do not plan on providing outdoor or patio service at this time.
John Oswald, of Oswald Brewery, says he cannot confirm anything at this time for Blue Earth’s brewery.
Restaurants and bars are not to exceed 50 customers. According to the Governor’s Stay Safe plan, outdoor patrons are required to make reservations ahead of time, and masks are required for workers and strongly recommended for customers.
Personal services, like salons and barbershops, require appointments, and can only have a capacity of 25 percent, with six-foot social distancing measures in place at all times. Masks are required for workers and customers.
Classic Cuts in Blue Earth says they are opening June 1, with their appointments. Those looking to get on the appointment list should give Classic Cuts a call, as appointments are filling up fast. They say they will have extra guidelines that customers must follow, and will have limited abilities. They ask everyone to be patient during this period of reopening.
Headlines Plus in Blue Earth plans on beginning taking their appointments on June 1 and have a thorough preparedness plan in place. Marie Northwick shares there will be three stylists working between separated stations, with no more than eight people in the salon at a time. She says the salon will be requiring patrons to wear masks and sanitize their hands upon entry. Each client will be asked to wait outside of the salon until they are given the go-ahead to enter the salon.
“This is really just for the safety of everyone involved,” she says. “We have quite a long list that we are trying to get caught up on, and we will probably be working extra hours to try and catch up. If you are not feeling well on the day of your appointment, please do not come in. We can reschedule. We will be fully sanitizing our stations between clients, too. It’s a new process, and we appreciate everyone’s patience.”
Gyms, personal fitness centers, yoga studios and martial arts studios are to remain closed.
Entertainment establishments, such as bowling alleys and movie theaters are to remain closed. However, outdoor entertainment, such as movies in the park, concerts and drive-in events must follow the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) guidelines.
One bit of outdoor entertainment that is assured for local residence is the Blue Earth Area Chamber of Commerce’s Art in the Park. Tunes at Noon in June returns June 9, with music from Lola Lundquist, Dick Miller, Steve and Linda Bakken. On June 16, Jane and Friends, along with Jim Bleckfield will be loaning their musical talents. June 23 will showcase music from students at Blue Earth Area as well as some gospel music from Johanna Hocker. Finally, on June 30, entertainment will be provided by the Griemann and Greer families.
The Blue Earth Chamber will also be hosting Yard of the Week throughout the summer, with a little twist. Each week throughout the summer, a yard will be picked to showcase on Facebook. This year, the Chamber will be running a contest with a prize of a Blue Earth Cash check in the amount of $25. Winners will be chosen at random with the weekly winners.
The Blue Earth Chamber and visitor’s center will remain closed, but hope to reopen soon. Keep an eye on Facebook for updates from the chamber.
Hotels like Americinn and Super 8 have stated they have been open but with a few adjustments. At the Americinn, the pool and breakfast bar have had to be closed to the public, and they are taking extra precautions when it comes to check outs, sanitation, and check ins. Once a guest checks out, the room is left unoccupied for two days and is cleaned thoroughly before another guest can occupy the room. Super 8 says they are closely following MDH’s guidelines.
Childcare is open per the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and MDH guidelines.
Little Giants in Blue Earth has reopened as of May 26. They have less staff and fewer students per the MDH and CDC?guidelines. Be A Kid and School Age Care will be available for all families needing care beginning June 4. Childcare coordinator Lynn Anderson says both programs are anxious for a fun summer together and are making health and safety of children, family and staff their top priority. To register for either program, call 507-526-5554, or go to their website www.beaschools. org/care4kids.
Campgrounds and charter boats will be opened with guidance from the state. Outdoor recreation activities and facilities will be permitted to open per the Department of Natural Resource’s (DNR) outdoor recreation guidelines.
Larger outdoor public gatherings, such as festivals, sporting events and large concerts will remain closed.
Pools are also to remain closed during Minnesota’s phase two Stay Safe plan.