PIPESTONE, Minn. (KELO) — Minnesota Governor Tim Walz is asking Minnesotans to stay at home unless absolutely necessary in hopes of slowing the spread of coronavirus. The order goes into effect at 11:59 Friday night and will last until at least April 10, though it doesn’t impact essential needs and services.
The streets of Pipestone are quiet due to COVID-19.
Mitchell Hart owns Finnian’s Coffee House, which remains open, but Hart is on edge.
“Hopefully it doesn’t hit too hard for these small communities, but we’re nervous,” Finnian’s Coffee House owner Mitchell Hart said.
Hart was forced to cut back on staff. His wife, and co-owner, Katrina has stepped up.
“My wife, she’s been doing a lot of shifts on her own. She’s able to keep up right now, and then I’ll help out during lunch or we do have some staff that will come in over the lunch hour,” Hart said.
The Harts also own a massage therapy business that closed last week.
“On the bright side of things, it gives me more time to help out here and be with the kids at home, but it has forced me to look at some other job opportunities, just because we don’t know how long this is going to last and income is kind of short right now,” Hart said.
Pipestone mayor Myron Koets feels for business owners, and says tough times are coming.
“This is not going to be a short term deal. We’re planning somewhere between 12 and 18 months,” Pipestone mayor Myron Koets said.
The Pipestone city office is currently closed, but residents can still call in, while the establishments that remain open are adjusting on the fly.
“We have a couple, three restaurants in town that are doing drive-thru. You have to call in, order your food, you can drive up to the outside, call them again that you’re out there, they’ll bring the food out to you,” Koets said.
The mayor wants residents to know that emergencies will be handled…
“Water leaks, sewage leaks, what have you, we will take of them,” Koets said.
While Hart is looking to keep people fed.
“Yeah, people need food (laughs),” Hart said.
Both hope the end of coronavirus is near.
Under the new order, restaurants in Minnesota can continue to serve delivery and take-out, but will remain closed for dine-in.