With the Corona pandemic on the rise, it is more essential than ever to know which businesses are considered essential are therefore remaining open at this time.
The most important thing is to stay home as much as possible and to respect social distancing in order to keep yourself and those around you healthy. However, during this isolation, there are certain businesses that must remain open as they provide what the government has considered important services to the public. Some of these are no brainers as to why they’re open, such as grocery markets, hospitals and banks. Others have special rules, such as restaurants and bars being take out only.
It is important during this time to know what is open and what must remain closed and the rules that these businesses and services must adhere to. Gas stations, for example, usually only have one employee working at one time, making it easier to have regular hours and work business as usual. Churches may still be open, but it would be wise to keep from congregating in order to stop the spread of the virus.
Of course, businesses that must remain open during the pandemic have taken precautions to ensure that workers and customers alike are safe and don’t spread the virus around.
“We’ve been wearing masks, gloves, respirators and been using a lot of hand sanitizer,” said Dale Peterson, owner of the local Orkin Pest Control. “We’ve been using digital signatures and a lot of our work has been outside as well.”
Orkin Pest Control is a business that rids homes of pests such as bed bugs, fleas and termites. Even with a virus pandemic, it’s “hard to stay home when you’re sharing your home with unwanted infestations,” as stated by Peterson. Orkin also clean out pests from places such as nursing homes, and extra precautions have been taken when going to nursing homes, since people over 50 have been said to be the most affected by the virus.
“I had a guy who was working a nursing home and they had him take his temperature at least nine times while he was there,” Peterson recalled.
“All of our associates practice social distancing and wearing face masks,” said Servpro owner Bill Uhl. “On the field, we have full suits, masks, gloves and respirators. We even have some of our associates working from home. Some employees don’t want to come into work because they don’t feel safe and that’s ok with me.”
Indeed, some businesses have been able to operate with employees working from home. This is the case with a lot of legal type businesses and some news outlets like newspapers. Servpro, a company that works in home restorations after they’ve been damaged have switched up the business in order to cater to the current situation.
“Different parts of the business have changed,” Uhl said. “We used to mostly help people with fire and water damage to their houses. Now we help people clean and disinfect them. I feel like by doing this we’re really making a difference in helping people stay healthy.”
Grocery stores and businesses where people have to go inside to use the service have special rules to ensure social distance, which involves staying six feet away from others. Local grocery store Farm Fresh Foods have also adhered to these guidelines and more.
“We’ve put sneeze guards up at registers,” said Dan Brown, owner of Farm Fresh Foods. “We’ve also been following all the other guidelines, marking spacing with tape and such. It’s been a crazy time and we’re trying to make the best of it.”
Nursing homes, power plants, animal shelters, day cares, law enforcement, public utilities and more must remain open and operating during the pandemic. Some have seen drops in business due to people staying home, while others have been as busy as ever.
“By doing a shut-down, the government have saved so many lives,” said Peterson. “It will take a while to come back from this though. People have been saying that 10% of businesses that were forced to shut down during this will never open again.”
It’s more important than ever to maintain social distancing, basic hygiene and following protocol. There are still people who must put themselves at risk in order to ensure that others can live as normal lives as possible during these troubling times. That is why there are so many measures put in place; to make sure that the people who work at these essential businesses can stay as safe as possible.
“I’d rather be safe than sorry,” said Brown. “I feel if people are not taking precautions to stop the spread of the disease, they’re not doing enough. I’m willing to go above and beyond the safety measures to ensure that level of safety.”
The business owners agree that it has been tough adjusting to the new regulations, but they believe that everyone will get through it. Uhl has stated that Chautauqua County has been fortunate since the confirmed cases of the Corona virus has been relatively small.
“I’ve never been through something like this,” he said. “But everybody’s doing a great job. We’re in tough times, but we enjoy helping others remain safe and virus free.”
“This is a time to solidify the human race,” Brown said. “When we get through this, I think people will be a little bit closer and we’ll realize that we all made it through together.”
You can find out more about what New York State considers essential businesses by going to governor.ny.gov/news. Local newspapers list which businesses and restaurants are open as well.
For more detailed information about essential businesses go to: