Beloit business owner reacts after Rock County orders “Stay at Home”

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BELOIT, Wis. (WTVO) ─ Wednesday the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down Governor Tony Ever’s ‘Stay at Home’ extension. Hours later, businesses across the state reopened their doors, but Rock County officials are saying not so fast.

Coach’s Bar and Grille in Beloit got a taste of what it was like to be back open.

“We had a couple of our regular customers come through,” said Coach’s owner Jeni Diehl. “Last night [Wednesday] they said, ‘Well do I still have to place a to go order, or can I actually eat here and have a drink tonight?’ I kinda looked at my husband and said, ‘Well I guess you can eat here tonight.'”

Thursday, following the county’s decision, it was back to curbside pick-ups and deliveries.

“It’s a bit frustrating for us small business. It almost feels like our government feels we’re not responsible, or smart enough for well people to assemble,” said Diehl. “At least I’ve been able to be open for delivery, carryout, curbside. There’s so many businesses that were deemed not essential.”

Rock County officials released a statement saying the action was taken so residents can smoothly transition into a “new normal.” Officials also cited Rock County as having one of the highest number of positive cases in the state and says it is ranked in the top 10 nationally for a likelihood to experience an explosion in cases.

“Rock County took this action in order to provide the residents of Rock County with the ability to more smoothly transition in the ‘new normal’ following the Supreme Court’s decision…Rock County remains one of the top counties in Wisconsin for the number of cases per capita and was recently ranked in the top 10 of all counties nationally for a likelihood to experience an explosion of cases.”

Josh Smith – Rock County Administrator

“When you’re closed for eight weeks and you drive by Menards and there’s not even a parking spot open in probably 600 parking spots and you know everybody’s not inside because their furnace is broken and it’s essential that they be there,” said Diehl. “We’re constantly cleaning, we’ll definitely have social distancing. I mean even if they put me at a 25% capacity to reopen that would mean I could have 50 people in my place, I’d be great with that.”

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