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‘Change, adapt and change again:’ Kenosha County rolls out ‘Kickstart’ plan to reopen businesses

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KENOSHA -- Just hours after canceling its "Safer at Home" extension, Kenosha County released a draft plan Friday afternoon outlining best practices for businesses to reopen.

Franks Diner

In the heart of downtown Kenosha, Franks Diner, a staple here for nearly a century, keeps paces pace with the times; all employees are wearing masks and gloves.

"It's basically, change, adapt and change again," co-owner Julie Rittmiller said.

Cleaning supplies at the diner are readily available and, for now, all orders are takeout only.

Franks Diner

"We just want to do, first off, what's right safety-wise and health-wise for our customers, for my employees, for ourselves. But then also, you know, my guys need to make some money," said Rittmiller.

Soon, Ritmiller and her staff will welcome customers inside to eat again under new guidance from a county committee.

It's called the Kenosha County Kickstart plan and recommends some businesses to open at limited capacity initially as health officers re-evaluate the available data on COVID-19. The plan also includes best safety practices for businesses with input directly from owners, like Rittmiller, on how to reopen safely.

Kenosha County Kickstart

Safety practices include propping doors open to limit the touching of shared surfaces and how to best social distance -- hoping a return to better economic times won't bring a second surge of the virus.

Julie Rittmiller

"Obviously, we're going to distance. It's a small place, so we'll have to have probably two stools in between. We're looking at plexiglass for the booths," Rittmiller said.

The Kenosha County Kickstart committee is now accepting community feedback and hopes to have a finalized plan in place by May 26.

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