Coronavirus: Some retailers reopen in Clark County, most larger stores do not

Clark County shoppers were able to visit some of their favorite retailers on Tuesday for the first time since late March.

Teresa Peters, a Springfield resident, said she felt “joyful” after leaving at Goodwill on 1961 N. Bechtle Ave with a cart full of items.

“It’s nice to get out. It’s nice to be a little bit normal for a minute,” Peters said. “I was going to Lowe’s and I saw (Goodwill) was open and I thought ‘I have to stop,’ and I just feel so joyful now.”

MORE FROM RILEY NEWTON: Clark County retailers must wear masks, social distance as they reopen

Gov. Mike DeWine announced on April 27 that consumer and retail services could reopen — with some requirements from the Ohio Department of Health — as part of a rollback of the state’s stay-at-home order.

The order implemented in March called for the closing of businesses not deemed essential. As a result, most retailers, barbershops, hair salons, nail salons and day spas were temporarily closed while restaurants were asked to only provide carryout, delivery or curbside pickup.

As a condition of reopening, companies are required to provide six-feet of distancing between employees or install barriers to allow for at least six-feet or distancing between customers. Daily disinfection of workspaces, establishment of maximum capacities for physical spaces and placement of hand sanitizer in high traffic areas are also required, according to the ODH.

All employees are also required to wear masks.

PHOTOS: Some area retailers reopen

While Goodwill on Bechtle Avenue reopened, a number of retail stores along the avenue did not. Only one other retail chain, Five Below, opened for business.

According to a statement on Five Below’s website, employees of the retail chain are cleaning and disinfecting the store “rigorously,” and rearranging the store to ensure social distancing practices.

“Our stores have all the recommended (personal protective equipment) to keep us safe. Items like gloves, masks and face shields are available for our crew members,” the statement said. “We’ve got hand sanitizers in several designated areas, including right near the registers for customers to use after completing their purchase.”

It’s unclear when other big retail chains, like Kohls, Marshalls and Hobby Lobby will open their doors — as the stores along Bechtle Avenue remained dark with no signage indicating when they would be reopening.

The Upper Valley Mall also reopened on Tuesday — but only two of the 12 storefronts, Shoe Dept. Encore and Emporium decided to open.

MORE FROM RILEY NEWTON: Upper Valley Mall, other retailers, prepare to reopen

In order to follow state guidelines, Emporium, a vintage boutique store, has added a plexiglass sneeze guard to separate customers from the cashier and taped X’s on the floor to ensure shoppers waiting to check out are six feet apart.

Other businesses reopening this week and next include:

Friday, May 15: Barbershops, nail salons, day spas, tanning facilities and hair salons will reopen. Clients will only be permitted to enter alone unless they require a caregiver. Magazines and other non-essential items that cannot be disinfected will not be permitted.

Restaurants will also be allowed to host outdoor dining. Restaurants should not host parties larger than 10 people and parties must be seated six feet apart from each other. Salad bars and self-serve options are only permitted if served by staff.

Thursday, May 21: Restaurants and bars are permitted to reopen indoor dining — with the same requirements are outdoor dining.

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