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Concerns over potential shutdown looms in Riverside County as several counties tighten restrictions


Areas across the state are tightening restrictions as coronavirus cases continue to surge across California.

"If they end up not allowing us to have outside dining, I’m afraid we’ll have to close just because the to-go orders are not enough to keep up-keep on everyone working here," said manager of Louis's Pantry, Jared Perry.

Riverside County has also recently experienced a surge in cases. Some business owners have shown concern that restrictions being implemented across the state could once again happen locally.

"Finally got the okay from the city. We took up 4 parking spots out there and built everything that you see out there now," said Perry.

Louis's Pantry is a popular diner in La Quinta. The company was closed for nearly 6 months, but has adjusted by setting up an outdoor dining area.

Perry said business is down by about 50% compared to last year. As COVID-19 cases climb, so does the concern of how it can impact business.

"Absolutely we are concerned because we saw LA county shut down their outdoor dining completely and I know that Riverside County, we haven’t quite got there yet, but if we do I’m really afraid that we’re going to have to close," said Perry.

Los Angeles County is among other regions of the state where officials are implementing more restrictions. On Wednesday restaurants were told they could only offer food and beverages via takeout, drive-thru, or delivery. A new temporary stay-at-home order also goes into effect on Monday. Most gatherings will be banned, aside from places of worship and protests. County officials reported a staggering 5-day average of more than 4,700 new cases.

"I think that everybody is really concerned that the restrictions can get even deeper, and it’s not even just about the restrictions. It’s about what’s really healthy for all of us that are working out here and the people that are our customers and visiting," said Crystal Fantasy owner, Joy Meredith.

Meredith's downtown Palm Springs business was closed for 2 months earlier this year. She said she used that time to make improvements to her website in case she has to close her storefront altogether.

"I think that for a lot of people, redoing your website is the most important thing any of us in retail could do right now-- making sure our websites are up-to-date because there’s a good chance that that’s going to be the only way we’re going to be able to have shopping for too long. I hope that that’s not how it turns our, but our numbers just seem to be going that way," said Meredith.

Many businesses are bearing the economic burden of the pandemic. Longtime Palm Desert salon, J Russell! The Salon, announced it would be closing its doors after more than 30 years of being in business.

It remains unclear what will happen in Riverside County as coronavirus cases continue to rise. Many, however, believe that if restrictions are imposed, it will be met with substantial pushback.

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Shelby Nelson

Shelby Nelson is a News Reporter for KESQ News Channel 3. She joined our team in September 2019. Learn more about Shelby here.


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