QUINCY — With Monday’s approval from the state for Region 3 — including Adams, Brown, Pike, and Hancock counties, among others — to move into Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan, businesses are seeing a new step on the road to normal.
Carolyn Carpenter, marketing director for Quincy’s Kroc Center, said it’s working on restoring services at a steady pace. Some of the more free-form group fitness classes are getting up and running, though there will be a slight delay on the more structured classes.
“Some of the classes that have more choreography involved, those instructors need to learn those things before they can teach,” she said. Carpenter is expecting those classes to be back underway in early February.
Brad Dunn, owner of Dunnbelly Bistro, said he’s been very hopeful as the state analyzed the regional metrics for reopening.
“We thought we would be included with the announcements from the governor last Friday,” Dunn said. “When we weren’t, it was like a ‘hurry up and wait’ situation. But we were ready with an action plan, so when I got a call this morning, we were ready.”
Dunn added that the Illinois Restaurant Association has been a great help with communications both ways for restaurant owners.
As far as staff, Dunn said his team is eager to get back to serving customers like normal.
“It’s really a sense of relief,” Dunn said. “We’ve been blessed with a loyal following that’s stuck with us, with carry-out and outdoor dining, and we hope that just keeps growing.”
For any customers who may still be wary, Dunn said the restaurant will continue to offer a heated, covered outdoor dining space as well as limited-capacity indoor tables.
Kroc Center’s Carpenter also said it’s continuing it efforts to keep things as safe and comfortable as possible for patrons. Cleaning protocols that have been in use for months will continue. Additional services at the center are also beginning to be revitalized.
“Our Sunday school and worship services are back to in-person,” Carpenter said. “Some of our fellowship groups, like the women’s fellowship, we should see coming back around Feb. 2.”
“This is a light at the end of the tunnel,” Dunn said. “Relief is coming, but everyone still needs to remember how dangerous COVID is.”