ROCHESTER, Minn. - With bars and restaurants opening for indoor dining Monday in Minnesota, it's important to keep moving in the right direction to fully open the state.
The president of the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce said reopening to some degree is without a doubt a step in the right direction, but there are stipulations that everyone needs to remember as we move forward. First and foremost, the businesses reopening will significantly help job preservation in the Med City. Kathleen Harrington explained keeping the balance between people staying both employed and healthy is their main priority. She said we must protect the progress that's been made, meaning now that we're starting to get back to normal, it can quickly shut down again. "That requires the business owners to make certain that all their employees are playing by the rules absolutely," explained Harrington. "That their customers are playing by the rules and that we as a community make certain that we're masking, we're social distancing, we're doing the hand washing thing. It can't be taken for granted."
Harrington said Rochester's unemployment numbers are slowly improving and she's hopeful with the hospitality industry starting to reopen, more people will be able to get back to work. She also said some businesses might not open for indoor dining, even though they can, because they don't want to risk having to shut down again. "I think that's why you see some businesses saying, 'you know what, I can't keep reinventing my business every 60 days, so I many not open up for 25% - especially restaurants - but I may keep continuing to do carry out alone,' Harrington explained. "So we'll see some real innovations occurring here."
Bowling alleys, movie theaters and museums will also be reopening Monday at 25% capacity.