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Businesses re-open in Racine with guidance from the city's health department

Posted at 1:27 PM, May 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-26 14:27:10-04

RACINE — Many Racine businesses are fully re-opened for the first time since March 18.

The city's public health order expired on May 26 and the city has implemented the "Forward Racine" plan, which sets standards for businesses re-opening during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Restaurants and bars can now serve dine-in customers again, the zoo can welcome guests, beaches and pools are allowed to re-open and so are retail shops, salons, gyms and just about any other business you can think of.

Schools, outdoor playgrounds and high-risk recreational areas, such as dog parks and basketball courts, remain closed for now.

"I think its a great thing and it's about time," said Robert Millu, who was one of the first people to order from The Roost, a local breakfast spot in downtown Racine. "If you're feeling safe, go out. If you're not [feeling safe] stay home."

Chris D'Aqcuisto, who owns The Roost, has been waiting to re-open since she closed to in-person dining on March 18. Even while offering carry-out and delivery options, Chris lost thousands of dollars worth of sales. Now, she is hoping new safety procedures will help guests feel comfortable as they return to her restaurant.

Racine's plan, which sets some rules that will remain in place until at least June 30, says tables are to be spread out at least six feet apart and restaurant capacity is limited to 50%.

Chris is also asking her employees to wear masks and has added new hand sanitizing stations throughout her indoor and outdoor seating areas. Her staff are also practicing new cleaning procedures.

"I hope everybody comes back because Downtown Racine is pretty nice," said Millu as he waited for his breakfast in a near empty restaurant on day one of re-opening.

Current standards and restrictions will be re-evaluated by city leaders on June 30.

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