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Madison Mayor: Don’t expect all businesses to open Tuesday

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MADISON (WKOW) -- After the holiday weekend, businesses will be able to reopen with restrictions and limited capacity. But city officials are telling people not to expect everyone opening their doors. 

Dane County residents and businesses will be under fewer restrictions beginning Tuesday morning as the county moves into Phase 1 of the Forward Dane reopening plan.

Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway said while things will start to look like they used to be before COVID-19, not every business will be prepared to open. 

“I know a lot of businesses have been getting ready, but they may wait a week or two weeks until they feel comfortable to open their doors,” said Rhodes-Conway.

Under phase 1 of the plan, businesses will have to implement safety guidelines like social distancing and cleaning in-between customers. Under the phase K-12 schools are still restricted from opening. Outdoor playgrounds and splash pads will remain closed. 

“The virus has not gone away. It is still with us in the community and it will be transmitted if we are not careful,” said Rhodes-Conway.

The announcement gives businesses the weekend to start making reservations and appointments to welcome customers.

The decision to move to phase 1 of the plan comes after health officials said they we're able to analyze testing data from the community testing site at the Alliant Energy Center.

"We feel confident that our county can take the next step in the reopening process at this time,” said Public Health Madison & Dane County Director Janel Heinrich in a release.

While this is exciting news for business owners, some are taking their time to prepare to reopen as the virus remains active in communities.

Head trainer at Kamps Fitness Daniel de Lara said they plan to remain closed until the pandemic subsides. 

“We'll be keeping a close eye on what everyone is doing, what they are doing well, and any mistakes. Because at the end of the day, the health and safety of our clients is why we do all of this,” de Lara told 27 News. 

Other gyms in the area are scrambling to get safety protocols in place in hopes of reopening on Tuesday. 

27 News called several area gyms to ask if they plan to reopen. Capital Fitness, Princeton Club, and Anytime Fitness said they plan to open next week.

Emilee Fannon

Capital Bureau Chief

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