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Thursday, 26 March 2020 19:45

‘Essential’ Businesses in WI Taking Extra Precautions

Written by Dan Hagen, WJFW News

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers' “Safer at Home” order allows essential businesses to continue operating during the coronavirus pandemic.

While these businesses will stay open, it won't be business as usual.


Walking into Arbor Vitae's Pukall Lumber, you may notice some changes. President Rick Wilson installed a sneeze guard in the retail store, and says there is no more browsing.


"It's a pretty strict policy, but these aren't normal times," said Wilson.


During the COVID-19 outbreak, Pukall is staying open but taking extra precautions to keep everyone safe.


"We're restricting our employees from traveling," said Wilson. "They can only travel really from home to work and that's within a 50-mile radius, and they can't have guests for the next two weeks."


The Shimkus Auto Body Shop in Rhinelander is taking similar measures.


Brian Shimkus said when a car is dropped off, employees wear gloves and masks while disinfecting the vehicle.


"After we're done fixing the vehicles we're doing the same thing---we're disinfecting the vehicles for the customers' safety," said Shimkus.


Business hours are now 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Shimkus said this gives his team an extra hour in the morning and evening to disinfect the facility.


"[We're] trying to keep everybody safe," said Shimkus. "Try to keep everything disinfected and trying to make the best of what we can do."


Right now Shimkus says business is slow, but for Wilson things are steady at Pukall.


But both businesses are staying open for now---with customers coming around to the changes.


"Slowly but surely, everybody's coming onboard and accepting the changes," said Wilson.


Pukall Lumber sells low-grade lumber to become food pallets and wood chips for toilet paper.


We thank WJFW News for reprint permission.

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