By NICK GOSNELL
HUTCHINSON, Kan. — COVID-19 is causing economic concerns even as policymakers continue to wrestle with what restrictions, if any, to put in place beyond the current health order in Reno County.
"Not only do we have people being impacted by COVID and having to quarantine, but it's starting to impact the daily operation of businesses because of people either with COVID that have tested positive, or people who have been around them, who now have to quarantine," said Debra Teufel President & CEO at Hutchinson/Reno County Chamber of Commerce. "It's causing a lot of absenteeism. There's also the issue with the hybrid situation with schools. Sometimes, if you have small children, you need to be at home and then it makes it where you can't be at work."
Teufel can't say enough that we have got to do something as a community.
"We need everyone to be diligent," Teufel said. "It does become an economic issue. We do not want to have another business shut down. We do not want to have a mandate of a stay at home order, but we want people voluntarily doing their part, washing their hands, wearing masks, limiting their exposure to other people outside of the home, so that we can get this virus under control in the community."
Even if you may not agree with some of the measures, it's still important to respect the needs of the business owners who are trying to stay afloat.
"Businesses up and down Main Street and in the community want their employees to wear masks, but they also want their patrons wearing masks," Teufel said. "If you go to work and then you get exposed by someone who just didn't feel it was necessary to wear a mask into your place of business, it puts that business owner in a really tough position. You want to enforce mask wearing in your doors, but you also don't want to alienate customers."
Teufel is just asking the community to be respectful and take all the possible precautions, whether you believe in mask wearing or not.